One of the rooms inside the new Parkers Place building, part of the Discovery House addiction recovery program. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

One of the rooms inside the new Parkers Place building, part of the Discovery House addiction recovery program. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Discovery House opens Parkers Place in Penticton to provide transitionary care

The addiction recovery program is now able to provide support for as long as necessary

Penticton’s Discovery House addiction recovery program is now three buildings strong.

The residential program opened up its third facility on Edna Avenue, and already it’s had four men in their program move into the new space.

The new facility is named Parkers Place in honour of the continuing contributions from Janet Parker and Parker’s Chrysler and adds the next level of care for the addiction recovery program. Parkers Place serves as a transitionary building, with the men staying their in semi-independent living as they go back to school and work.

“It’s really the last step before going out on your own, and it gives us the ability to not have definite timelines for when we have to move people out of the recovery support we offer,” said Jerome Abraham, executive director for the Penticton Recovery Resource Society.

The society has gone from being able to offer a single-year stay for those going through their program to two years, and now to allowing indefinite stays for those in their care to get the support they need until they’re ready to be fully independent again.

Purchasing a third building has been in the planning for a few years, with a previous trial run renting a property having not proven ideal.

The 2020 Shine the Light on Addiction Campaign and the recent Soup is Good Food fundraisers went towards the plan to expand the continuing care by Discovery House.

“The idea of more continuing care, some of that is more living space for the guys that are living here, who are a year or more in substance-free recovery,” said Abraham. “They’re also connected in with our newer guys who are coming in, running some of the programs, volunteering, casual weekend stuff and taking guys to meetings.

“It just keeps everybody involved and builds that recovery community. It’s a big part of our program.”

READ MORE: ‘More important than ever’: Discovery House shines light on addiction

Most of Discovery House’s funding comes through donations and community fundraisers, with a small amount starting to come from the government.

In the future, Abraham hopes to see more facilities like Discovery House, and even beyond what they now can offer.

“Ultimately I’d like it where we have guys buying their own places and living in a retirement community, or mixed-use with seniors and families and those in recovery. It’s been very successful in other places and there’s no reason why we can’t do that here.”

The one thing Abraham and the men going through the program can’t be more thankful for is the support they receive from the community, he said.

“We have a community of support here, and addiction is a very isolating illness.”

Thanks to the community’s support with their fundraising, and a private lender who asked to stay anonymous, Discovery House was able to put a down payment on the property.

“We have one big anonymous donor who never wants any recognition, but thank you I’d like to say to them,” said Abraham. “They don’t want anything other than the story of guys changing their lives.”

Since the program began, more than 700 men have gone through the program over the last 14 years. Many of those who have gone through the program are coming back to help out others.

“Between now and the middle end of June we have five or six who are coming up on a year clean, we have a guy here who is two years clean and he just had a baby with his girlfriend, lots of people who are getting into a decade clean,” said Abraham.

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