The Salvation Army Victoria officially launched its new live-in drug and alcohol recovery program March 31. From left to right: Shelley Gudgeon, Salvation Army Community Council member, Major Sheldon Feener, Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) executive director, Jeffrey Baergen, ARC program director, Sarah Potts, Victoria city councillor, and Patricia Mamic, public and government affairs director. (Courtesy of Jeffrey Baergen)

The Salvation Army Victoria officially launched its new live-in drug and alcohol recovery program March 31. From left to right: Shelley Gudgeon, Salvation Army Community Council member, Major Sheldon Feener, Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) executive director, Jeffrey Baergen, ARC program director, Sarah Potts, Victoria city councillor, and Patricia Mamic, public and government affairs director. (Courtesy of Jeffrey Baergen)

Salvation Army cuts ribbon on Victoria’s new live-in addiction recovery program

Six-month program offered to nine people at once

A new fully-funded live-in addictions recovery program will allow more Victoria men to receive long-term help close to home.

On Wednesday, the Salvation Army officially cut the ribbon on a program that’s been in the works for years – a six-month, nine bed alcohol and drug addictions recovery program.

Other recovery programs exist in Greater Victoria, but none that are fully-funded with around the clock clinical therapists, program director Jeffrey Baergen said.

“Among all the other barriers our community faces, we want to make sure that finance is not one,” he said. If the participants can pay they do, but if not it’s fully covered.

READ ALSO: Victoria residents navigate addiction recovery during the pandemic

In the past, when men couldn’t afford treatment they had to be sent to the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, Baergen added. Now, they can stay close to friends and family and receive support from an organization known for being drug and alcohol free.

“Our program is one thousand per cent focused on giving the guys here every tool they need to get healthy,” Baergen said.

Days consist of group and individual therapy, life skills classes, outings such as hikes, and AA and smart recovery meetings. Right now, participants are working on an art project to decorate the centre’s walls.

The program is funded by the Salvation Army and Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction in response to the 1,716 overdose deaths in B.C. in 2020.

READ ALSO: With 1,716 deaths, 2020 deadliest year of overdose crisis in B.C. history


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