A Keremeos-based residential addiction treatment centre for youth, that helped 80 young people a year, is closing its doors.
The youth addiction treatment centre Ashnola at the Crossing will be closing down permanently as of March 31.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) which funds the program informed the Crossing’s parent company, the Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS), that their contract would not be renewed.
“Right now we’re preparing our departure,” said Joanna Macaulay, the director of the Crossing.
Due to COVID-19, the residential substance use treatment program was unable to run since 2020.
According to the press release issued by the PCRS announcing the cancellation of their contract, they noted that the PHSA had included with the tendering for the contract “new criteria that excludes PCRS from consideration.”
“We also believe that the program/staffing model and associated funding levels, and other contractual obligations outlined in the [Request for Proposals] are insufficient to establish and maintain a safe and therapeutic environment for participants which is not in alignment with our agency values,” continues the announcement.
The PCRS took over the 22-bed facility in 2017, which was built by the Central City Foundation in 2009, and provided for the program along with the 58 acres of rural seclusion the facility is located on rent-free.
The news that the residential substance use program in Keremeos is closing comes shortly after the announcement that Interior Health was canceling their contracts and pulling their funding from the Pathways Addictions Resource Centre in Penticton.
“We need those outpatient programs, because they do the long-term care, and it’s where programs like Ashnola get their referrals,” said Macaulay. “When people come into residential treatment, they learn a lot of things, but it’s in a safe environment. It’s best if they have a good outpatient counsellor following up with them after they leave.”
Ashnola at the Crossing provided service for youth and young adults ages 17 to 24 with a specialized addiction treatment program.
In addition to the therapy and other therapeutic treatments, the program provided education for those in their care.
Through the first year that the centre was open, more than 80 youth and young adults had gone through the program there.
Those people that went through the program often stayed long-term while undergoing treatment, with most staying from three to six months, according to Macaulay.
The release from the PCRS ends with a call looking forward to a smooth transition and rapid-reopening for the program. Before PCRS, services were offered by a Quebec-based company that closed abruptly in 2015.
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