Conrad Maki, of Red Deer, looks at the plans for the Red Deer Dream Centre during an open house Tuesday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer Dream Centre hosts open house

A proposed addictions treatment centre held an open house Tuesday to explain what the organization is all about.

“We want to get the word out on what a recovery centre is and what it’s not,” said Wes Giesbrecht, Red Deer Dream Centre co-chair.

“When you hear ‘recovery,’ you may think, ‘Oh well there’s going to be a bunch of people lined up outside, you’re going to have a soup kitchen.’ It’s not that.”

According to the centre’s Facebook page, it is a “faith-based organization, committed to alternative treatment options for alcohol and drug addiction in central Alberta.”

Giesbrecht said the centre is waiting on approval from the city’s Municipal Planning Commission and on receiving charity status.

“Once they give us the thumbs up, within six months we’ll start construction – that would be the goal,” he said.

A third storey would be added to the downtown Red Deer building, formerly the Lotus Nightclub. Architect Sherri Turpin, with Turpin Kong Architects, said the third floor would house 16 three-person units and an outdoor living area.

There is a “significant cost” for this kind of project, said Giesbrecht.

“Money is a factor, there’s no question. We have money, but we don’t have all of it. So we’re going to be heavily applying for grant money, we’re going to be asking for donors … as soon as we have the approval in place,” he said.

Conrad Maki, of Red Deer, said he spent “many years” using drugs and alcohol.

“I got worse and worse, until about 2008. I would’ve died if I kept going. I phoned my mom and said I wanted to go to treatment,” Maki said.

Maki went to a treatment centre in Edmonton and moved to Red Deer shortly after. He said the area needs a treatment centre.

“In central Alberta there aren’t many resources,” he said.

“To try to get an addict into recovery, from when they say they’re ready to go to finding a place for them to go, is really hard,” he said.

Maki said anybody can fall victim to addiction.

“Red Deer’s so big and a lot of people think the addicts are just people on the street – they’re not. It’s the people that work for all the different employers,” he said.

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