More than a year since it’s abrupt closure, the BC government has announced it will re-open the residential addiction treatment centre known as The Crossing near Keremeos.
The announcement was made Wednesday during a press conference at the legislature in Victoria.
The Crossing will now offer 22 beds for youth between the ages of 17 and 24.
The facility formerly operated with a 42-bed capacity serving youth aged 14 to 17.
“The new program at the Crossing at Keremeos will be a welcome addition to the network of services available to youth and young adults with serious substance use issues throughout B.C. — providing specialized care to meet the unique needs of vulnerable young people,” B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake said during the press conference.
The Crossing is expected to re-open in early 2017.
The next step is to secure an operator for the facility. A request for proposals is expected open soon.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) will oversee the facility through its B.C. Mental Health Substance Use Services division.
“The Crossing will provide the state-of-the-art specialized treatment and care that young people need to launch their recovery. Once they are ready to return to their home communities, MCFD staff will work with our partner agencies to ensure the youth have the ingredients for continued success, including appropriate housing and access to the community-based health services they may need,” Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development stated.
The Crossing closed abruptly in March 2015 when former operator Portage, a Quebec based non-profit, pulled out of operations.
Portage continues to operate substance abuse programs in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.
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 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 during that time was $2.5 million.
Central City Foundation, a longstanding non-profit in the Lower Mainland, owns the facility. The foundation leases the facility to the province at no-charge.