Developers behind the proposed downtown addictions treatment centre welcome the construction of another residential facility, to be built by the province in the city’s north end.
On Saturday, Premier Jason Kenney announced up to $5 million in funding for a 75-bed facility that will be located outside the primary urban centre.
Wes Giesbrecht, the Dream Centre’s board co-chair, said there is room for two facilities, and the Dream Centre would step forward if the government needed someone to run the north-side centre.
“If there was a request for proposals out to run the facility, we’d absolutely take a look at it. Why wouldn’t we look at both?” Giesbrecht said.
“I applaud the government for wanting to make a substantial impact in our community. It’s a big win in the addictions recovery space. We’re just looking forward to working together.”
Last week, plans for the faith-based Dream Centre, to be located in the former Lotus Club at 4614 50th Ave., were downsized to two-storeys instead of three, and the number of beds was reduced to 40 from 48, due to financial constraints caused by the pandemic.
The government said it hopes to have shovels in the ground on the north-end facility before winter.
Giesbrecht said $1.25 million in renovations for the Dream Centre are expected to start before the end the of the year, and would take six to eight months to complete.
Freedom Funders, a fundraising campaign to find 1,800 people to donate $40 per month toward the project, was recently announced.
He said if the campaign is successful, it will pay for the almost $900,000 annual operating budget. Fundraising also continues for the renovations.
“(Addiction) has always been a community problem and I really feel strongly about having a community solution,” said Giesbrecht.
He said so far, the city has a detox program and an overdose prevention site. The only thing that’s missing is treatment.
“You can’t stand on a two-legged stool. You need three. We need to get to the root of the issue.”