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Representatives from the provincial and federal governments, along with the non profit recovery society VisionQuest the organization responsible for operating the facility announced The Lake’s opening from inside its walls on Friday.

The 50 bed federal provincial housing facility is a re purposed youth corrections centre that provides men living with drug addiction and mental health issues a life skills recovery program.

The one year program is abstinence based, meaning clients quit their addictions cold turkey.

It focuses on healing circles and getting addicts to understand the depth of what they’ve done wrong, VisionQuest executive director Jim O’Rourke said.

Attending a facility could be part of a probation order, bail or an alternative to jail time.

The facility currently houses 20 people, six of whom are self admitted and do not have criminal records, VisionQuest assistant director Rick Edwards said.

He said residents are to stay on the property at all times and are only allowed off it if escorted by a staff member.

Four VisionQuest staff members are on site, and the number of staff members will increase as the number of clients does.

VisionQuest director Gary Bass said the facility will start with 20 clients and over the course of about eight months will take in the capacity of 50 people.

The facility is located on Thompson Nicola Regional District land at 7185 Tunkwa Lake Road and includes classrooms, a workshop, recreational hall, dining area and dorms for clients and staff.

It was purchased by the provincial government about seven years ago and was renovated into the facility it is today thanks to $620,815 in funding split between the federal and provincial governments.

O’Rourke said it’s cheaper to house prolific offenders here than in jail, stating it costs about $207 per day for jail compared to the $31 it costs to house them at the facility.

The plan is to have the clients work on the 750 acre property, with possibilities of working in furniture repair, cattle farming or even dog food manufacturing in an effort to build job skills.

O’Rourke said clients of the facility are required to contribute 100 hours of community service.

Representatives from the federal and provincial governments and VisionQuest prepare to cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the grand opening of The Lake, a rehabilitation centre for men with drug addictions and mental health issues. Pictured are, from left: Okanagan Coquihalla MP Dan Albas, former VisionQuest client Justin Harty, VisionQuest board member Gary Bass, TNRD director for Area J Ronaye Elliott, Fraser Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart, Housing Minister Rich Coleman, RCMP Staff Sgt. Maj. John Buis and VisionQuest executive director Jim O’Rourke. Michael Potestio/Herald

Housing Minister Rich Coleman said this facility is all about giving people a new life.

“It’s about us understanding that people who have difficulties in life need to be supported,” Coleman said.
pink dr marten boots Rehab centre opens up outside Logan Lake