Proposed supportive recovery homes on Abbotsford farmland raises concerns for neighbours

Public hearing on project brings out many supporters and concerned neighbours

Angie Korkowski of Joshua House speaks at a public hearing on Monday about their proposed supportive recovery homes.

Angie Korkowski of Joshua House speaks at a public hearing on Monday about their proposed supportive recovery homes.

Two supportive recovery homes, with a focus on healing through farming, split community members during a public hearing on Monday evening.

Joshua House, also known as Yahweh Saves Recovery Ministries, is proposing to operate two 10-bed men’s supportive recovery homes at 29183 Fraser Highway, between Bradner and Ross roads.

Joshua House is a Christian organization that currently runs recovery homes in Abbotsford and the surrounding area, assisting men who struggle with addiction.

Some area residents raised concerns that supportive recovery housing could bring a potential increase in property crimes to the rural area.

Vic Mossey said he has lived in the area for many years. Since Joshua House began taking steps towards operating a facility there, he has seen an increase in problems with drugs in the area.

“I can see there is going to be more problems… There’s a lot of upset people too.”

Glen Berry, a current resident of a Joshua House facility, said it is wrong to assume the men will be criminals.

“Joshua House is not a jail. They’re not serving a sentence at Joshua House. They are there for recovery.”

The proposed homes are located on agricultural land and the proposal has already received approval from the Agricultural Land Commission.

The proposal states that as part of the recovery program, the men would be involved in the maintenance and development of the farm. The property is about nine acres with two homes and several small barns used for cows, goats, pigs and chickens.

Angie Korkowski, executive director of Joshua House, said addiction is the number one social problem in Abbotsford, with a huge demand for recovery facilities. She said the rural setting will provide fewer distractions for those in recovery, and their ability to work with the land and animals will be helpful for recovery. She said she welcomes people with concerns about the project to visit Joshua House and learn more about what they do.

“We are not a get-out-of-jail-free card.”

The project must be approved by city council, and the decision was deferred to a future meeting.