Chilliwack – AUGUST 2 UPDATE – Candace Waller of Spiritual Quest Wellness Society tells FVN that the application for expansion from 6 to 10 beds for women in the recovery home will be before Chilliwack City Council at the 7PM evening session in Council Chambers on Tuesday August 15. Anyone who wishes to voice their opinion on the application is asked to state their case at that particular meeting.
JULY 20 UPDATE – Spiritual Quest Wellness Society is expected to be in front of Chilliwack City Council to ask for an increase in beds, sometime in August. Candace Waller of Spiritual Quest says her group are waiting on a specific date to make their presentation to Chilliwack City Council.
AUGUST 2016 ORIGINAL STORY – Recovery homes or half way homes if you will, are always met with raised eyebrows. Do they actually allow recovering addicts and alcoholics to become clean and sober?
Are they a magnet for crime, prostitution and drug deals?
That concept is always met by the NIMBY few.
NIMBY = Not In My Back Yard.
Neighbours of the Spiritual Quest Wellness Society were hoping for a TUP – Temporary Use Permit for a Nowell and First Street home, to increase capacity from 6 beds for women in recovery to 10.
Chilliwack City Council deferred the decision until July 2017.
Councilor Ken Popove told FVN that while he applauds what the Society is trying to do, they should show more diligence in engaging with the community, vetting neighbour concerns and sitting with other committees who are like minded in recovery.
Barb Dyck, the Assistant Manager of the Society, made the application in front of council at the Tuesday August 16 meeting.
Justine Gilles is the actual owner of the home that has been transitioned into a recovery home for women.
Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz and Councilor Jason Lum were concerned that those women who did not “complete” their recovery, would be tossed back out on the street.
The home itself is located on Nowell and First, just off a stretch that is called “Ground Zero” by some media, as crime and prostitution is rampant in that area. That stretches in an area that includes Spirit Quest, Ruth and Naomi’s, the Anavets, the old Shaw Building, the Chilliwack Business Centre and , ironically, the Chilliwack Alano Club, which is considered a safe haven which is clean and sober, and houses many 12 Step Recovery meetings, that the women of Spirit Quest attend.
Spirit Quest and the Alano Club have a strong and respectful relationship.
Mayor Gaetz claimed that she “kind of lost interest” when the home first opened and openly questions if the downtown core was the place to operate. She also had issue that some if not many of the women who come to the facility are from outside Chilliwack.
It should be noted that other facilities such as Tesky Road – Chilliwack, Peardonville and Kinghaven in Abbotsford as well as MRTC – Maple Ridge Treatment Centre – do not run “exclusive” facilities solely for the community that they are located in.