Keremeos area addiction facility on track to reopen early in 2017

The Crossing, a residential addiction rehabilitation centre, outside of Keremeos is set to reopen in early 2017.

A new operator for The Crossing is expected to be chosen by the end of August. The facility is on track to reopen for early 2017.

A provider will soon be chosen for the remodelled addictions facility located just outside of Keremeos.

A Ministry spokesperson told the Review that the search for an operator for the The Crossing should conclude by the end of August.

The doors of The Crossing closed abruptly in March 2015 after then operator Portage pulled out of running the facility.

The province announced earlier this summer the facility would reopen early in 2017, serving a slightly older age group.

The thorough process to hire an operator started in mid-May and included the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ).

Responses to the RFQ were reviewed by a provincial Evaluation Committee. Based on evaluation results, a short list of candidates was established to move to the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase.

The RFP was sent to the short-listed candidates on July 18.

Short-listed candidates were invited to participate in a tour of the facility in Keremeos on August 12.

Once the province has chosen an operator, contract negotiations will begin immediately. It’s unknown how long it will take to complete negotiations.

Once they are finished the commissioning of the facility will start along with recruitment and management of staff.

The process has moved along relatively quickly starting with the provincial  announcement in May that a new plan to run the facility was devised.

Previously The Crossing was funded through the Fraser Health and Coastal Health regions and serviced a younger clientele aged 14 to 17.

Now the facility, which will have 22 beds available to start, will service young adults aged 17 to 24 and is funded directly through the PHSA.

Prior to its closure Interior Health raised concerns with the facility’s licensing. Issues included training of staff among other issues. Both sides, Portage and the province cited budgetary concerns with regards to the closure.

The province questioned how money was being spent at the facility. An external audit was in the works at the time of the closure. The province suspended the audit when the facility closed.

Portage operated the facility since it opened in 2009. It’s annual budget for that time was $2.5 million.

Central City Foundation, a longstanding non-profit in the Lower Mainland, owns the property The Crossing operates from. The foundation leases the facility to the province at no-charge.