NEW ROADS TO NEW LIVES — Our Place Society’s Therapeutic Recovery Centre

I recently had the privilege, as a former Board Vice Chair and Member of Our Place Society (OPS), to attend a special open house and lunch for former OPS Board members, some of whom were part of the original decision to proceed with the Therapeutic Recovery Program, known now as New Roads. I was part of that Board, chaired by former Mayor of Oak Bay, Diana Butler.

Located at the site of the former Youth Custody Centre in View Royal, New Roads should also be called “New Lives.” The transformation of the facility and many of its residents, since 2018, is nothing short of amazing and inspirational. The site provides a beautiful and peaceful setting for men seeking to overcome their substance abuse history through participation in a therapeutic community. It is a closed facility, to the extent that residents have a variety of backgrounds but either choose or are directed to attend and complete the program. Length of stay varies from about 9 months for up to two years.

The courage and vision that brought this program and facility to life begins with OPS leadership at the staff and Board levels. Today, a number of professional staff provide services to the Centre that includes health and mental health care, counselling, recreation and occupational skills and training, to name just a few of the services and programs. There is an internal leadership model that promotes leadership skills so that the residents who apply and are selected, each share a leadership role within the community, both inside and outside the facility, and supported by peer helping and mentoring.

The most exciting news for me is that a new women’s program is slated to open in the fall, 2024 at the same facility, which is currently under renovation to accommodate approximately 20 women. Provincial government funding and private donations have made a real difference to the development, growth and success of New Roads, a program that is modelled after the San Patrignano Therapeutic Community in Italy.

Our Place Society is a real leader in addressing the complexities of addiction and the accompanying issues of mental illness and homelessness. If you want to make a donation to make a difference, please consider Our Place Society and the New Roads program.