Fund­ing ap­proved for Carbonear ad­dic­tions cen­tre in pro­vin­cial bud­get

U-Turn al­lo­cated $120,000 for peer sup­port ser­vices

The Compass - - News - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

U-Turn in Carbonear re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cant sum of money in the 2018 pro­vin­cial bud­get.

The non-profit ad­dic­tions cen­tre has been in busi­ness in the com­mu­nity for ap­prox­i­mately five years and plays a ma­jor role in the bat­tle against ad­dic­tion that many in the area face.

This year’s bud­get saw over $10 mil­lion iden­ti­fied for men­tal health and ad­dic­tions pro­grams through­out the prov­ince.

Among this, $1.1 mil­lion was al­lo­cated for the en­hance­ment of e-health ini­tia­tives provincewide, as well as $440,000 to sup­port con­tin­ued mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion of the Men­tal Health and Ad­dic­tions Plan.

Some spe­cific or­ga­ni­za­tions re­ceiv­ing fund­ing in­clude Con­sumers’ Health Aware­ness Net­work New­found­land and Labrador (CHANNAL), which will get $460,000 for their warm line and peer sup­port ser­vices, and U-Turn, which will re­ceive $120,000 to in­crease peer sup­port ser­vices at the cen­tre.

U-Turn ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jeff Bourne spoke with the Com­pass about the fund­ing fol­low­ing the bud­get an­nounce­ment.

He said the cen­tre is more than happy with the fund­ing and is cer­tain it will play a ma­jor role in how the or­ga­ni­za­tion can help those who seek out U-Turn’s ser­vices.

“We’re go­ing to all sit down with the board of direc­tors to have a chat about what we can do with the fund­ing,” he said, not­ing that no de­ci­sions have been set in stone un­til such a meet­ing takes place.

“Our main pri­or­ity, of course, is to see how we can use the money to help peo­ple and fam­ily mem­bers that are seek­ing re­cov­ery from ad­dic­tion.”

In 2015, U-Turn also re­ceived $70,000 in fund­ing, which sup­ported the hir­ing of an ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, as well as the op­er­a­tion of the cen­tre as a whole.

Bourne ex­plained the ex­tra money re­ceived this year will help free up some time the cen­tre usu­ally spends with re-ap­ply­ing for fund­ing. That will al­low him and the rest of the cen­tre to spend more time fo­cus­ing on other pri­or­i­ties, such as ad­min­is­tra­tive work, the peer sup­port that this year’s fund­ing fo­cused on, and mak­ing con­nec­tions with other com­mu­nity part­ners.

Bourne is also a mem­ber of the Men­tal Health and Ad­dic­tions Re­cov­ery Coun­cil for New­found­land and Labrador. He says that a lot of work is be­ing done be­hind the scenes in the prov­ince. These sorts of fund­ing an­nounce­ments serve as a ma­jor help to the var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions across the prov­ince, he said.

“There’s a lot of great things that are get­ting done out there, and the prov­ince is re­ally tak­ing the right av­enues to­wards men­tal ill­ness and ad­dic­tions in New­found­land,” he said. “We’re kind of like pi­o­neers for the rest of the coun­try when you look at some of the things we’re step­ping out and work­ing to­wards.”

U-Turn, much like other sim­i­lar non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, tends to keep a strong em­pha­sis on dif­fer­ent fund­ing av­enues pro­vided by pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments. The cen­tre re­ceived a smaller amount of fund­ing ear­lier in Fe­bru­ary, and with the an­nounce­ment of this ex­tra $120,000 com­ing from the 2018 bud­get, Bourne says things should run smoothly for the fa­cil­ity in the com­ing months.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion is cur­rently in the process of mov­ing to a new lo­ca­tion, which is nearly three times as large as its cur­rent 650-square-foot space.

New tech­nolo­gies, new fur­ni­ture, and a fresh, clean, brand­new space is all in the cen­tre’s fu­ture, so Bourne sees the bud­get fund­ing go­ing a long way for U-Turn.

“I’m glad U-Turn got rec­og­nized be­cause we’re re­ally the only drop-in cen­tre for ad­dic­tions out­side of St. John’s – out (pass) the over­pass,” Bourne said.

“Since 2013, we’ve grown a lot, and we’re con­tin­u­ing to grow. In Fe­bru­ary of this year, we had 747 vis­its – that’s re­cov­ery meet­ings or just peo­ple just drop­ping in dur­ing the day. In Fe­bru­ary of 2013, we had 365 vis­its – just about dou­ble over the last four or five years.

“It’s easy to see that ad­dic­tions cen­tres and things like that are a ne­ces­sity in the area, so re­ceiv­ing fund­ing like this $120,000 is go­ing to help a lot of peo­ple.”

While the fund­ing has not been as­signed by the board of direc­tors just yet, Bourne says there some great things are com­ing for U-Turn, as well as other or­ga­ni­za­tions. Be­ing rec­og­nized for fund­ing is the first step, he said.

“Fund­ing an­nounce­ments like this are go­ing to help us as com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions to work to­gether more – not that we were com­pletely out of touch – but this is a nice push and clears some things off our plates so we’ve got more time to fo­cus on the or­ga­ni­za­tions, and more im­por­tantly, the com­mu­ni­ties and the peo­ple in them who need our help.”

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

Jeff Bourne is the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for U-Turn in Carbonear, and says the re­cent fund­ing an­nounce­ment will be a ma­jor help for the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

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