In a year where the opioid epidemic continued to rage unabated, and the city of Penticton reached record levels of fatal overdoses, Discovery House was a beacon of hope and a model for successful addiction treatment.
2021 was one of the busiest yet for the program, not just with seeing many clients through their addiction treatment, but in growth and expansion of their program as well as their fundraising.
The annual Soup is Good Food fundraiser served up over 800 bowls in just the first two weeks this year, and Discovery House would go for a second serving in the summer with a pasta fundraiser. The fundraisers all went to support the program’s continuation as well as planned expansions.
After an attempt to get a third building up and running in 2019, the program tried again in 2021 and this time met with resounding success.
The purchase of Parker Place was announced in May, and by then it was already up and the five beds it offered fully occupied. The new property opened the door to providing continuing support for those who had completed the Discovery House treatment program and and were living clean, but not quite fully ready to go out on their own. The independent living at Parker Place keeps them supported with a place to stay and access to the services of Discovery House.
The semi-independent living beds aren’t the only ones that have been full this year, with 72 per cent of the clients going through program as of December having completed their 90-day treatment program, and close to 40 per cent of those reached a year of being substance abuse free.
Providing support for their alumni has been a key goal for Discovery House in 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, and they worked to stay connected with the extended Discovery House family through weekly meetings, monthly dinners and keeping access available to the program’s counselling support.
Discovery House also got a boost for the first time from the provincial government with three year funding for five of their beds.
The goal of 2022 will be to get the rest of the funding necessary to start construction on the fourth building. 2020’s Shed the Light on Addiction campaign funded the purchase and renovations of Parker Place, and for 2021 the campaign’s goal was to raise the remaining quarter of necessary funds to begin work on a three bedroom carriage house on the Parker Place property.
From there the program has plenty more ideas on where to go, such as further properties and more beds to potentially partnering with another organization to provide the framework and support to establish a program for women as well.