Construction photos posted Jan. 28 show work is progressing on the Red Deer Dream Centre. (Photo from Facebook)

Construction photos posted Jan. 28 show work is progressing on the Red Deer Dream Centre. (Photo from Facebook)

Red Deer Dream Centre looks at opening before June

Former Lotus nightclub building being converted to Christian-based, addictions treatment centre

The opening of the Red Deer Dream Centre will be delayed by a few months, but the executive director expects the doors to open prior to June.

Last year, organizers anticipated that clients would be welcome in the first quarter of 2022.

Vince Aliberti, who was hired in September, said he has been evaluating the operational plans, funding, hiring and construction and made a recommendation to the centre’s board of directors to push the opening back a couple of months.

“I feel very confident we’ll open up before summer hits, before June,” Aliberti said.

“From my vantage point, everything is going exactly the way I envisioned it to be. It’s unfortunate that we’ll probably open up a month or two later, however it will be the best for not only the clients, but the community at large.”

The former Lotus nightclub building, at 4614 50 Ave., is being renovated to become a 40-bed, Christian-based treatment centre for men. Construction is about 80 per cent finished.

About $1.4 million was raised in capital funding and operational funding has become the focus of fundraising.

Aliberti said work is still underway to put operational funding in place, including applying for grants, and taking a more comprehensive and strategic funding approach.

“Everything is being calculated, all the elements of human resources, operations, finance, marketing, communications, branding, strategy — everything is intertwined.

“We want to make sure we cross our t’s and dot the i’s.”

Related:

Alberta doubles addiction treatment spaces commitment, says provincial government

He said he would not want to open all 40 beds at once. A gradual opening would allow adjustments to be made from a best practices perspective.

“There’s always going to be a glitch, something we need to adjust. So it’s important that we use all our money, all our resources, as best we can.”

He said programming is going to be world class and will be modified to suit the needs of each client so they can stay sober and recover.

Related:

Renovations continue at Red Deer Dream Centre

Aliberti also said he wants to reach out to the community because the majority of people don’t really understand what addiction is really all about. Reprogramming thoughts and behaviours takes time.

“If people think you can go to a place for four weeks, six weeks, and you’re good to go, these people have no idea what they’re talking about.”

He expects 80 per cent of clients who use the treatment centre will be from Red Deer.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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