An artist’s rendition of the proposed Freedom House at Rutland Road and McCurdy Road in Kelowna. building would have housed graduates of an abstinence-based addiction treatment program. —Image: contributed

Addiction treatment society look to manage new BC Housing facility in Kelowna

After failing to get a grant for its own project, Freedom’s Door wants to manage provincial building

A Kelowna-based drug and alcohol addiction recovery society may have seen it’s plan for a 49-unit apartment building scuttled because of provincial government policy, but that doesn’t mean it’s given up on it’s desire to operate such a facility.

So Freedom’s Door Society is applying to operate a new building in Kelowna that B.C. Housing is planning.

Details of how large the facility would be and where it would be located have yet to be revealed publicly, but Tom Smithwick of Freedom’s Door said he would like to see on the land his organization had secured for its Freedom House project, at the corner McCurdy Road and Rutland Road.

That land is already zoned to allow a 49-unit apartment building.

The Freedom House project faltered earlier this year when the province refused to provide a $4 million grant because Freedom’s Door provide’s an abstinence-based treatment program, not a harm reduction program.

RELATED: Freedom House project on hold, funding opportunity evaporates

That decision lead to Freedom’s Door buying a sixth duplex for its program earlier this year, bringing the number of beds it will have for program to 56. The new duxplex, beside one it already owns on Belaire Avenue in Kelowna is expected to open next week.

Smithwick said managing the new B.C. Housing building could be another way to provide the apartment units it was looking for at Freedom House. They were to be for graduates of the the society’s program, not treatment beds for men going through the program.

“The same goals can be achieved in different ways,” said Smithwick, adding he is optimistic Freedom’s Door can be successful in winning the contract to management the new building.

A decision on who will operate the yet to be built building is expected by the end of November.

The Freedom’s Door application will be submitted next week.

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