Former clients of a treatment centre near Nordegg are raising money to save the program that rescued them from addiction.
Shunda Creek, a 10-bed adventure therapy program for men aged 18 to 24, has operated for 13 years at a former work camp for young offenders. The lease for the site has run out and the money raised through a GoFundMe account Save Shunda Creek account would go towards buying another camp site in the area.
Former client Colton Rolof said the 90-day program saved his life.
“If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be welcoming my first-born child at the end of July. I wouldn’t be saying today I’ve been happily married for a year. Those are things I never in my life would have dreamed up with an active addiction,” Rolof said.
He said the program is unique because it’s located in the wilderness and outdoor activities play a huge role in the treatment.
“It takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city, gets you into a place where you can actually relax, and dig inside and dig deep into what the real cause of your addiction and your mental health anguish is.”
And the alumni program allows former clients to stay connected with staff for support, and gather for outdoor trips to continue to work on the tools they need to stay sober, he said.
“Losing that support will be hard on a lot of the guys.”
The non-profit Enviros operates Shunda Creek with funding from Alberta Health Services. Clients are referred to the program by AHS.
Rolof said the program will be shut down in two months and the goal is to raise $625,000 with through GoFundMe to buy the new camp and help with operational costs. The program would also expand to 18 beds.
He said in the first 30 hours that the GoFundMe account was posted almost $10,000 was raised.
“I’m not going to rest, or be silent about this until I know the program is going to continue. We’re going to surpass that goal and we’re going to get it paid for so that this program can continue.”