Discovery House support worker Ben Somerville (left) and operations manager Blaine Russell inside the organization’s third location. Donations of various items are now being accepted to help furnish the living space. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Third Discovery House location announced for South Okanagan

Discovery House men’s recovery centre announces a third Penticton location

“The little girl who needs her daddy to take care of her doesn’t live here anymore, but the woman who could use a father’s love remains.”

This was just part of a testimonial letter executive director Jerome Abraham of Discovery House received from a woman whose dad is at the recovery centre after years of addiction to methamphetamine — and is succeeding.

It’s just another case of Discovery’s objective of “returning fathers to children and sons to families.”

Due largely to the opioid epidemic ravaging many communities, Discovery House has a waiting list of between 30 and 60 men needing and wanting help escaping from their addictions.

The good news was this week’s announcement; the not-for-profit organization is opening a third location with four more badly-needed beds on Jan. 1.

READ MORE: Discovery House ready to Shed the Light on Addiction

Word of the additional beds comes almost exactly two years to the day after the official opening of the 12-bed house at 633 Winnipeg St. to go along with the first one on Wade Avenue that provides three other beds.

At that time Abraham, a former Discovery client himself, estimated they could easily fill three more similar size houses.

Located at #1-175 Cossar Ave., the new location is part of a six-month pilot project aimed at helping addicts, at a very critical juncture of their recovery, transition back into society.

“For us, this has been a huge gap,” said Blaine Russell, Discovery’s operations manager. “We found this was a gap that needed filling where guys have stayed for six months at the other houses and it’s hard to find housing in Penticton, so some of them aren’t financially there yet, so this keeps them involved in their recovery but also they’re supported through us at Discovery House.

“This will allow guys that would typically go on their own in a year another opportunity to stay in clean sober living for another year to two years.”

Support worker Ben Somerville agreed: “Especially staying connected to the guys (at the house) and being able to get back into the community but still having that support that’s incredibly important for them.

“For a lot of people getting back into the community can be their downfall, they stop going to meetings, stopping working with the program, this way they can learn how to do it in a safe space,” he said.

The treatment involves three stages, with men starting out at the foundation house on Winnipeg, eventually moving to the Wade Street location and now being able to go to the Cossar Avenue venue.

“How recovery works is by those people helping other people who are struggling,” said Russell. “So at the new location, they’ll be able to work alongside us and volunteer at the house while they’re living clean and sober.”

Discovery offers a peer-based program where clients work with each other in a mentorship role. A 12-step approach is used in the treatment that includes life skills training.

Much of the work by Discovery, which is operated under the auspices of the Penticton Resource Recovery Society, is funded through donations.

READ MORE: Penticton business donates $20,000 to Discovery House

To that end, centre officials are hoping the public can help provide some of the items needed for the new location.

“We have all the appliances but we’re looking for furnishings of all sorts; beds, couches, desks, dressers, TVs, kitchenware,” said Russell. “The guys have some of their own stuff but when they came here a year ago all they had was a backpack. So to be able to do this and get the community involved would be great.

“(With) the last two houses, the community has been really great to us,” he added.

Anyone who can help out is asked to call Discovery House at 250-490-3076 or Russell’s cell phone, 250-809-6075.

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Ben Somerville (front) and Blaine Russell of Discovery House at the site of the new four-bed location the treatment centre is opening on Cossar Avenue. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Residents at Discovery House’s second location on Winnipeg Street headed outside to turn the lights on Saturday night. The light-up is part of the Discovery House’s Shine the Light on Addiction December fundraising campaign. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

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