Women’s rehab centre planned for Fernie

Women in the Elk Valley may soon have access to a rehabilitation centre.

Women in the Elk Valley may soon have access to a rehabilitation centre. Still in the beginning stages, the proposed Wings of Eagles Recovery Centre would offer a 90-day, 12-step program for women with drug and alcohol addiction.

“It’s such a need in the Elk Valley right now,” said Director, Linda Johnson. “It will look after Fernie, Sparwood, and Elkford residents first. Should we have enough space we’ll look after Cranbrook and Kimberley, and the rest of the province.”

Johnson said she’s finding that most women in the Kootenays are forced to go a centre in Abbotsford, B.C. for recovery, a fair distance away from home. “What happens when they go into Abbotsford is they’re away from their children and their families,” Johnson said. “It is not meeting the needs of the women of the Elk Valley in terms of having any long term success.”

The program Wings of Eagles will offer lasts for a minimum of 90 days, however Johnson said women will have the option to stay longer to ensure their future success. She explained, “After you complete the program you’re allowed to stay in the home from the time you start to the time you leave, for a total of two years.”

“You might need some job skills, some mentoring, so when you leave at the end of two years you can be self sufficient in your community. And your community will be helping you with the recovery process, you won’t just be thrown out with nothing.”

With letters of support already received from Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano, Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks, Interior Health, and the Elk Valley RCMP, the next step is finding a location to serve as the recovery residence. As long as everything goes according to plan, Johnson is hoping to have everything in place by January 2013.