City businessman advocates for new drug treatment center on land in Rayleigh – Kamloops News
Photo: Kristen Holliday
VisionQuest’s 20 acre salvage facility, located in Logan Lake.
Kamloops businessman Reid Hamer-Jackson estimates that more than 40 people have accepted his offer to visit VisionQuest, a drug rehabilitation center near Logan Lake.
Hamer-Jackson, owner of Tru Market Truck and Auto Sales, located on West Victoria Street, said he had organized half a dozen trips to the facility, inviting local politicians, city staff and various officials. organizations to hear about the centre’s recovery. -model based.
After seeing crime and social problems outside his business escalate in recent years, Hamer-Jackson said VisionQuest’s recovery model is something he would like to see replicated closer to Kamloops.
âInstead of seeing 450 emergency calls across the street – I see them every day – let’s do something a little different,â Hamer-Jackson said, adding that he didn’t think they were. ‘There were enough drug recovery beds in the city.
âWhy don’t we start spending more money on people and trying to cure them than we are on properties – whether it’s motels or whatever is happening downtown,â a- he declared.
Hamer-Jackson said he had identified a property near Rayleigh, near the city’s Tournament Capital Ranch, as a potential good location for a salvage facility.
He said the area was built with a septic tank for future development and is close enough to the city to be easily accessible, but far enough away that people using the facility have “room to breathe. “.
âThese people need a place to be safe, and where they don’t have to leave their room and where there is the drug dealer in the next room. I think it would be really good for Kamloops, âsaid Hamer-Jackson.
VisionQuest’s 60-bed facility near Logan Lake sits on 20 acres of land, which manager Megan Worley says is important to many of their customers.
Worley said many of those entering recovery center programs come from closed or overcrowded spaces, whether it’s a shelter or a jail cell – which makes the open space stand out. and fresh air.
“I’ve heard that by taking them out of society and taking them to a remote location, it actually isolated them, or even treated them as if they were incarcerated when in reality, for them, it was. is a feeling of freedom, âWorley said. .
âWe have all these things they can do that they couldn’t do before. So that’s the biggest advantage. The second advantage is that it is really difficult to leave. â¦ The chances of them leaving voluntarily are pretty slim.
Worley said their facility does not force clients to leave once they have completed their program – which includes substance abuse and trauma counseling, as well as anger management, life skills, and education. parenting and healthy relationships.
She said that once there is a deadline, people on recovery programs may tend to worry about what will happen next.
âOne of the main reasons we don’t push them away is that they don’t have that worry on their shoulders, so they can only focus on healing and recovery,â Worley said.
According to Worley, clients spend up to nine months in the first stage of their recovery, before moving on to the second stage, which involves reintegration into society.
Worley said VisionQuest is just a model of addiction services that works for some, but not for everyone.
She said harm reduction services are needed – âwithout harm reduction, half of our guys probably wouldn’t even be here right nowâ – but so is funding for recovery beds.
âOver the past 10 years I think the focus has been more on harm reduction because the drug supply has become toxic, because there are so many more homeless people, so we have much more focused on managing instant symptoms and making sure we’re keeping people alive, âWorley said.
âUntil recently, the government has focused less on the recovery, and it is starting to look more to us now. â¦ It’s just that they dealt with the immediate problem. And now they are starting to look for the long term solution.
Com. Bill Sarai said he visited VisionQuest three times with Hamer-Jackson.
Sarai said he thought it was a “great program,” noting in particular that he did not set a time limit on recovery.
âThey let you stay there until you are mentally and physically strong enough to handle life on the streets again, or bring you home,â Sarai said.
“You can stay there for a year, they won’t ask you to go until you’re absolutely ready to go.”
Sarai said he agreed with Hamer-Jackson on the potential of developing the property in Rayleigh to house a salvage facility, but said the idea needed to gain buy-in from others first.
âThere are other stakeholders in this country who need to be consulted, we need provincial and federal money to make this happen. BC Housing must be on board. So yeah, it would be a great site if everyone supported it, âSarai said.
Sarai said he believed there was a need for more recovery services in Kamloops and wanted to see city agencies, BC Housing and Interior Health working together to provide the necessary beds.
âThese are all health issues. And in my opinion, Interior Health has dropped this bullet more than once. They should be the leaders in this area and we should help them, and it’s the other way around. We try to find solutions, and they never come to the table with no help, âSarai said.
At a board meeting on Tuesday, Sarai said Penticton is working with BC Housing to set up a 54-unit salvage house in the community and asked staff if there are plans to review this type of service for Kamloops.
Carmin Mazzotta, the city’s social, housing and community development manager, said she was having conversations with BC Housing about a “range of housing types,” supportive, subsidized, and for different demographic groups.
Mazzotta said the Maverick, located in Aberdeen, has 12 intensive recovery beds, with programs available to help clients transition to longer-term recovery and work preparation.
âI’ve had recent conversations with a local nonprofit that has smaller scale salvage units and is looking to work with BC Housing to identify more,â Mazzotta said.
“It’s not a large-scale project, it’s smaller projects, which can really fit into the fabric of the community, but would be based on recovery.”
Like Hamer-Jackson, Sarai said it’s important to take a different approach to drug addiction and recovery in the city.
âWe can’t just keep building temporary housing and shelters and think the problem will just go away,â Sarai said.