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Penticton’s Pathways Addiction Resource Centre to close

Community contributions could not make up for the loss of Interior Health’s yearly funding
Community support was in the end not enough to keep Pathways Addiction Resource Centre running after Interior Health stopped funding it. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

After attempting to survive losing the majority of its funding, Pathways Addiction Resource Centre is officially shutting down in Penticton.

The not-for-profit society and registered charity that provided counselling, addiction and community services will close on July 31.

“We believe that the loss of Pathways will create a large gap in the substance use disorder services available in this community,” said Sherry Ure, the board chair for Pathways in the closure announcement. “We want to thank the Pathways staff for the perseverance, dedication, and passion they demonstrated to the community.

Pathways lost Interior Health funding in March 2021 and since then has struggled to maintain a consistent flow of funding to support its services, which were largely free for those who used them.

Thanks to support from the community, the centre’s services were kept going for two years, however, the inconsistent nature of community contributions compared to annual government funding has made it impossible to continue.

“We feel a deep loss and regret for the clients we are currently supporting and will do our best to find new supports for them,” said Ure.

READ MORE: Janet Parker donates $15K to Penticton’s Pathways Addictions Resource Centre

Pathways is encouraging people to reach out to Interior Health for help as they have stated their plans to take over the services and counselling that Pathways once offered.

“If you are struggling to get help from IH, we would direct you to the other great services that the community has to offer including SOWINS, Discovery House, OneSky Community Resources, Ooknakane Friendship Centre, and Ask Wellness Society Penticton to name a few.

The Penticton & Area Access Centre has also published a “Little Red Book of Resources” that may be helpful for some people.

Some Pathways staff will continue to provide service in private clinics, and counsellors Mike Mai and Aaron Esler will be running community outreach programs under a joint partnership.

More to come.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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