The organization that owns the 58-acre property outside Keremeos where a teen addictions facility was operating has no plans to divest the property.
Jennifer Johnstone, president and CEO of Central City Foundation said the facility known as The Crossing is currently under lease to the province and that there are no plans to develop it any differently.
“We still have a lease with the Provincial Health Services Authority and I’m still hopeful and feel pretty confident they are working on a solution to find another operator to open The Crossing and provide longterm treatment for youth,” she said during a telephone interview.
The Central City Foundation is a Vancouver based foundation that dates back over 100 years and focussed on issues surrounding poverty. Central City Foundation partnered with From Grief to Action, a parent support and advocacy group, to renovate existing buildings on the property and open The Crossing.
The Crossing opened its doors in 2009. Central City Foundation continues to maintain the building and offer a free lease to the province for use of the property and its amenities.
The province is just in its first-year of a five-year lease that can be extended multiple times with the foundation for the property.
Linda Larson, MLA Boundary-Similkameen said the Provincial Health Services Authority along with the Minister of Health, and regional health authorities are working on a sustainable plan for the future delivery of specialized residential treatment for youth with severe substance abuse issues.
She has hope that the Keremeos facility will be used as rehabilitation centre for addicted youth again.
“PHSA is maintaining the Crossing while developing an enhanced Tier 4 model of care for high risk youth.
Personally I will continue to work with health to try to re-establish a program at the Crossing. I know how valuable the jobs are to the Keremeos area and I believe the location of the Crossing helped with the healing process of the youth being treated there,” she wrote in an email to the Review.
Keremeos Mayor Manfred Bauer said losing jobs in the area is always a concern and that he believes the facility is the perfect setting for youth battling addictions.
He has already written a letter to the Minister of Health Terry Lake voicing his concerns.
“I encourage him to engage in negotiations and to get the facility going ASAP,” he said. “I am in contact with responsible authorities that are engaged in the decision process that will lead to reopening the facility,” he said.