Newly redeveloped Kinghaven Treatment Centre opens in Abbotsford

Centre received additional $1 million in funding for pilot project

The opening of the newly redeveloped Kinghaven Treatment Centre was held on Friday.

The opening of the newly redeveloped Kinghaven Treatment Centre was held on Friday.

The newly redeveloped Kinghaven Treatment Centre, which opened on Friday, will receive an additional $1 million in provincial funding for a new pilot project to help men reintegrate into the community.

The $5-million treatment centre, for men at-risk of homelessness due to substance use, replaces the original 58-bed centre on the same site on King Road. With the redevelopment, the capacity has increased to 62 men.

The centre is operated by the Kinghaven Peardonville House Society and originally opened in 1970. In addition to providing detox and transitional living at the site, the men can move on to the George Schmidt Centre – a second-stage housing project – at the same location.

The province has arranged long-term financing of the project for more than $3.7 million, while the society provided the land and additional equity.

A variety of dignitaries and community members were at the centre on Friday for the official opening.

Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas announced the additional $1 million in funding from the province to create a three-year pilot project which would help reintegrate men recovering  from mental health issues or substance abuse into the community.

Gerry Palmer, board chair of the society, said dealing with addictions is one of the most serious social issues, and the centre is a “small part of dealing with a huge problem.”

He said the new facility is replacing one that was “well past its best-before date.”

Malcolm Strybos, a former resident at Kinghaven who now works for the society, said he had come from prison and completed the 70-day program. He said he really needed the support he received while in treatment and slowly worked back into the community.

“I started succeeding in life again,” he said, adding that he once again got to be a father to his children.

Milt Walker, executive director of the society, said that all the men who come through Kinghaven can be like Strybos if they want to.

He also praised the centre’s staff, adding that because of them people can live productive lives.

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