North Wind updates PRRD on $25 million recovery centre

North Wind Wellness Centre Society has updated the PPRD on its plans to build a $25 million addiction recovery centre in Pouce Coupe. 
A top down map of Pouce Coupe, indicating where the new NWWC site will be.
The site of the new NWWC facility in Pouce Coupe (NWWC)

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — North Wind Wellness Centre Society has updated the Peace River Regional District (PPRD) on its plans to build a $25 million addiction recovery and housing centre in Pouce Coupe. 

Executive director Issac Hernandez returned to speak with the PRRD in their meeting on March 9th and update the district on the progress and future of the project. 

Site map for the new NWWC facility. (NWWC)

Hernandez explained that the recovery centre focuses on filling in the gap between detox and recovery by providing both services while also acting as a wellness centre for the wider community. 

The society will work with Vancouver-based homelessness solutions group Streettohome to implement the Addictions Recovery Community Housing (ARCH) model to provide “the whole continuum of care under the same roof.”

The new building will be comprised of 10 detox units, 10 addiction treatment units, and 40 recovery housing units. 

A render of the new facility’s main entrance. (NWWC)

Construction on the facility is slated to begin in May 2023, weather and final funding dependent, with a tentative completion date of October 2024. 

According to the presentation given to the PRRD, the society has received $5.6 million from the First Nations Health Authority, $134,000 from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and $700,000 from the Ministry of Health through Northern Health. 

The society is still negotiating or waiting to hear back from BC Housing, Streettohome, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. 

The PRRD was enthusiastic about an addiction recovery centre in the Peace River region. 

Director Tony Zabinsky said this centre was “something desperately needed” in the region. 

Some concerns raised by the board included slowing down the construction schedule to account for gathering the remaining funds, the costs of creating an emergency access road for the facility, and the distance between the facility and the RCMP detachment in the case of an emergency. 

The society currently operates another addiction recovery facility in Farmington, B.C. The facility offers a culturally based, 45-day residential treatment program. 

In 2021-2022, the centre received 228 applicants and accepted 75 patients into treatment. Over half of the applicants, 147, came from the Treaty 8 Tribal Association or the Peace region. 

North Wind last presented the idea of expanding the PRRD in 2020, though the society initially spoke with the board back in 2009. The group also held an open house for the new site in Pouce Coupe in May 2022.

The full presentation on the NWWC expansion can be read below:

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