Joey T. and Shamus S. serving up hot soup bowls at last years’ Discovery House Men’s Treatment Centre fundraiser in Penticton. (Jerome Abraham photo)

Joey T. and Shamus S. serving up hot soup bowls at last years’ Discovery House Men’s Treatment Centre fundraiser in Penticton. (Jerome Abraham photo)

This Penticton recovery centre is dishing out soup that heals

Annual fundraiser at Discovery House hopes to change stigmas surrounding addiction.

Discovery House Men’s Treatment Centre is inviting you for lunch.

Every Friday for six weeks, starting Feb. 28, the Penticton-based recovery centre is dishing out soup with a bun and hot drink for $6 during its ninth annual soup lunch fundraiser.

The guys will be offering 15 different choices of vegetarian soups to complement fresh buns provided by Cobb’s and hot drinks from Starbucks.

The event has become popular with locals over the years, with money raised growing from $800 in its first year to over $6,000 last year.

Jerome Abraham was once in treatment at Discovery House and today he proudly helps others on the road to recovery. Abraham hopes Discovery House’s fundraiser can help to break stigmas about addiction.

“I think there’s been a lot of good social changes around addiction issues but there still seems to be a segment of society that think it’s okay to talk in derogatory ways about people with addiction and mental health issues,” said Abraham.

The demand for treatment centres in town has been steadily rising over the years, according to Abraham. Despite adding 16 beds, the waitlist at Discovery House hasn’t gotten any smaller. Abraham thinks they would operate with a wait-list of 30 to 35 people regardless of how many beds they have.

Events like the soup lunch fundraiser go a long way in enabling people to get the help they need. Abraham explained that debunking myths about addiction can ease the shame addicts feel when asking for help.

“There’s still a lot of shame around admitting you have an addiction and need help, if someone can’t ask for help they’re never going to get better,” Abraham said.

Often there is a small window of time between when someone admits they need help and are actually willing to get it, said Abraham. Because of this, long waitlists may prevent people from ever getting into treatment.

“If you have to wait two months you might be out there for another couple of years.”

Discovery House gets minimal government funding so events like the soup lunch are integral to keeping them afloat, according to Abraham. But, more importantly to Abraham, these events help educate people and change their point of view on what recovery looks like.

The first soup lunch fundraiser will be held Feb. 28 at 361 Wade Ave. W from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. But get there early, they’ve been known to sell out fast.

“It’s a pretty frenzied affair,” said Abraham.

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Addictions treatment