Province Funds New Recovery House In Surrey

For Immediate Release
Nov. 20, 2008

Ministry of Housing and Social Development

SURREY – Aboriginal men with addictions now have access to Cwenengitel Aboriginal Housing Society’s new 12-bed recovery house, which officially opened today thanks to a $1-million mortgage provided by the Province.“This new recovery house will give Aboriginal men with addictions an opportunity to get well and lead a healthier life,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Development. “We’re addressing cultural and individual needs, and we’re giving people the supports to help them beat all kinds of addictions.”

The recovery house is part of an agreement between the Province and the City of Surrey to fast-track up to 106 units of new social and supportive housing by 2010.

“A recovery house for Aboriginal men in Surrey is a fundamental part of building a healthy community,” said Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. “By partnering with the Province, we are fulfilling our commitment to creating affordable, supportive housing for people living in Surrey who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”

Cwenengitel Aboriginal Housing Society (CAHS), a non-profit organization that provides safe and supportive housing for Aboriginal men, will manage the recovery house. The society will provide counselling services, educational assistance, and cultural activities such as healing circles and sweat lodge ceremonies for the residents with the aim of reintegrating them back into the community.

“Through the provincial funding we received for the recovery house, our organization has the capacity to provide a much-needed service to our community’s most vulnerable,” said Waly LaVigne, executive director of CAHS. “I know this recovery house will help many men in Surrey find their paths to a better life.”

CAHS converted the duplex into a 12-bed recovery house with the $1-million mortgage provided through the Provincial Homelessness Initiative. Renovations included life and safety upgrades and improvements to the kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces.

The recovery house accommodates up to 12 men and consists of 10 bedrooms, two living spaces, three kitchens and four bathrooms. Operations will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with one staff member on duty at all times. The recovery house is located at 13630-13632 110A Avenue in Surrey.

The Province has committed to creating more than 4,000 new housing units under the Provincial Homelessness Initiative. The Province’s budget for shelters and affordable housing is $400 million – more than three times what it was in 2001.


Media Contacts:

Rhonda Nguyen
BC Housing
604 439-4740
604 374-8301

Joel Giebelhaus
City of Surrey
604 591-4192

Ron Savoy
Cwenengitel Aboriginal Housing Society
604 313-0628

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