Tran­si­tion house gets mixed re­cep­tion in Vic­to­ria

U-Turn Cen­tre wants space for ad­dicts who’ve al­ready com­pleted re­cov­ery pro­grams

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON TC ME­DIA COM­MU­NITY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/TC ME­DIA AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/TC ME­DIA

The Vic­to­ria Com­mu­nity Cen­tre was oth­er­wise silent as close to 100 res­i­dents lis­tened to a young woman talk about her ex­pe­ri­ence with ad­dic­tion.

She hoped her mes­sage would sway them to open their com­mu­nity to a tran­si­tion house for peo­ple look­ing to take back con­trol of their life.

“We all make mis­takes,” said the woman, who also lives in Vic­to­ria. “We all have our own bat­tles that we are fac­ing. We should not be de­fined of who we are be­cause of our mis­takes. We don’t need so­ci­ety to be judg­ing us when we do that U-Turn Drop-in Cen­tre ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jeff Bourne ad­dresses the au­di­ence at a pub­lic meet­ing about his group’s pro­posal to set up a tran­si­tion house for re­cov­er­ing ad­dicts. enough for our­selves.

“I think there are so many things that can be done to help ad­dicts. I strongly be­lieve open­ing this cen­tre will be the first step to help build a brighter fu­ture for ad­dicts to­day and to­mor­row.”

The cen­tre in ques­tion would be a new lo­ca­tion for the U-Turn Drop-in Cen­tre. The own­ers of a for­mer re­tire­ment home in the com­mu­nity have of­fered to do­nate their build­ing to the or­ga­ni­za­tion, which reg­u­larly hosts meet­ings for peo­ple deal­ing with ad­dic­tions is­sues.

In ad­di­tion to serv­ing as a new lo­ca­tion for the drop-in cen­tre, the build­ing has more than enough room to ac­com- Vic­to­ria Coun. Jen­nifer Baker speaks dur­ing last’s Wed­nes­day pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion at the lo­cal Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. mo­date tran­si­tion hous­ing. Ac­cord­ing to a plan drafted by U-Turn’s board of di­rec­tors, the fa­cil­ity would take in res­i­dents re­ferred to the pro­gram from pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment treat­ment cen­tres like the Grace Cen­tre in Har­bour Grace and Hum­ber­wood in Cor­ner Brook.

The pro­posal needs Vic­to­ria coun­cil’s ap­proval. Af­ter tak­ing in a pre­sen­ta­tion at a re­cent coun­cil meet­ing, it was de­cided a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion was nec­es­sary to ed­u­cate res­i­dents and get feed­back.

Board chair­man Curt Clarke told at­ten­dees of last Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing that the fa­cil­ity would be wel­com­ing peo­ple who have shown a strong de- sire to over­come their ad­dic­tion.

They will com­plete a 28-day re­cov­ery pro­gram in Har­bour Grace or Cor­ner Brook be­fore ar­riv­ing at the tran­si­tion house. There will be zero tol­er­ance for drugs and al­co­hol, ran­dom drug tests will be ad­min­is­tered, vis­it­ing hours will be restricted and take place in a pub­lic area, and a cur­few will be en­forced. It will be a se­cure build­ing with a buzz-in sys­tem.

A care­taker will live on site. An op­er­a­tions man­ager and part-time so­cial worker will also be em­ployed. Res­i­dents will be re­quired to pay their own rent and look af­ter liv­ing ex­penses.

These peo­ple want to change their lives. These peo­ple are do­ing some­thing about it. Two houses down the road, you’ve got some man or woman sell­ing drugs, push­ing it to our chil­dren …These are the peo­ple that we should be wor­ried about. Jen­nifer Baker

Push­ing its Christ­mas pa­rade by a day turned out to be the right move for Har­bour Grace.

A mis­er­able Dec. 3 gave way to a con­sid­er­ably bet­ter Sun­day af­ter­noon as hun­dreds lined the pa­rade route to catch a glimpse of the dozens of floats and com­mu­nity groups that took part in the ex­trav­a­ganza.

Bay Roberts, Bay de Verde and Pla­cen­tia were also forced to move their highly an­tic­i­pated pa­rades.

While a snow squall hit the town just min­utes af­ter the large group left the coun­cil build­ing on Wa­ter Street, the weather was clear and the tem­per­a­ture was crisp enough to en­joy the event.

Spec­ta­tors got to see a va­ri­ety of floats. There were su­per he­roes, Jedi knights, Stormtroop­ers a pair of march­ing bands and of course, Santa Claus along with Mrs. Claus

The Har­bour Grace pa­rade is one of a num­ber of pa­rades hap­pen­ing in the re­gion over the next cou­ple of weeks. For many towns, they serve as the of­fi­cial open­ing of the hol­i­day sea­son.

Af­ter­wards, the town re­ceived rave re­views for its pa­rade and sub­se­quent tree light­ing on so­cial me­dia.

The Com­pass was there and cap­tured these images.

Quinn Butt is never far from the thoughts of peo­ple in the re­gion, es­pe­cially head­ing into the hol­i­days.

The Vic­to­ria Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment got some help from a pair of su­per troop­ers and a Sith lord for their float.

HGOE CeeBee Stars play­ers Matthew Thomey (left) and Doug Pippy wave to spec­ta­tors dur­ing the pa­rade.

Dance­worx Stud­ies got the crowd jump­ing with their dance rou­tine along the pa­rade route. They were one of a num­ber of com­mu­nity groups tak­ing part in the pa­rade.

The Har­bour Grace branch of the Church Lads Bri­gade was one of a pair of march­ing bands shar­ing the gift of mu­sic in Har­bour Grace.

CeeBees mi­nor hockey had some strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion at the pa­rade.

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