The Bridge’s Youth Recovery House is closer to opening thanks to generous donations from the community. (Contributed)

The Bridge’s Youth Recovery House is closer to opening thanks to generous donations from the community. (Contributed)

Kelowna residents donate $275k for youth treatment centre

The treatment centre will serve Okanagan youth

The Bridge Youth and Family Services Youth Recovery House is closer to opening thanks to community donations over the 2020 holiday season.

The Bridge executive director Celine Thompson said they felt overwhelmed by the generosity.

“With this kind of continued support, we could open this year,” she said.

According to the non-profit, more than $300,000 was raised in December, which brings the campaign’s total to $867,000.

Kelowna residents Dean Reidt and Debbie Hubbard are also helping to make a difference, donating $100,000 to the campaign last month.

“We both grew up in rural Saskatchewan and know that it takes a village to raise a child. We live in downtown Kelowna and see young people on the streets and back lanes around us struggling with addictions,” they said in a statement.

“We also learned that there are currently no live-in treatment centres for youth in the Okanagan and that in addition to the COVID crisis there is also an opioid crisis. We just couldn’t stand by and watch. We wanted to be part of the solution.”

Besides Reidt and Hubbard’s donation, The Bridge received an anonymous $175,000 gift in mid-December.

The Okanagan Youth Recovery House is intended to be a place for those under 19 to receive addiction support and treatment.

Currently, B.C. has less than 70 publicly funded youth treatment beds. There are no treatment centres for youth under 17 in the Okanagan.

Overall, Phase 1 of the recovery house campaign needs a total of $1 million. The organization will continue to apply for grants and rely on donations to support the centre’s opening.

If you wish to donate, visit The Bridge’s website.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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