Some Red Deerians are sharing their excitement about a proposed treatment centre in Red Deer.
An open house for the Red Deer Dream Centre, a project that would transform a former downtown night club into an addictions treatment centre, was held Thursday evening.
Red Deer’s Glen Dahlke said he supports the project.
“I think this is the ideal place and absolutely essential. It’s amazing a city of 100,000 people doesn’t have a treatment centre, so it’s about time.”
Martin Willms, also from Red Deer, said he agrees with Dahlke, but isn’t too sure about the location.
“I’m not altogether sure downtown is the right location for it, but I’m delighted with what these guys are doing. It’s just a wonderful project,” Willms said.
Representatives from the Calgary Dream Centre, which has provided addiction services and programs since the early 2000s, spoke at the open house to discuss their model.
“I’m impressed by the treatment model of the Calgary Dream Centre. It seems like a very holistic approach to treating addiction. I think what they are doing is fantastic and could be a real benefit to Red Deer,” said Willms.
Dahlke added “we finally got a medical detox here in town and this is just the next step. Why not do what’s been done successful elsewhere?”
Jim Moore, Calgary Dream Centre CEO/executive director, said there is a need across the province for addiction treatment.
“We wanted to put our support behind the Red Deer Dream Centre because it is needed,” said Moore.
People treated for addiction can “go back into society and actually have jobs, pay taxes and be back with loved ones,” he said.
“Over the past 16 years we have seen large numbers of men, women and youth turn their lives totally around and the secret is transformation. When we have transformation it benefits the city, the community and those individuals,” said Moore.
Getting the Calgary centre up and running did have its challenges, Moore added.
“You just have to stay focused. People will come in behind you and start believing in what you believe in and little by little … the community jumps on board.”
A group of faith-based investors bought the downtown Red Deer building in an effort to ease Red Deer’s opioid crisis. Wes Giesbrecht, a Red Deer Realtor representing the group, said a development permit application will be submitted to the city in the next couple weeks.