June 26, 2015 - 9:00 AM
KEREMEOS - Five months after the Portage residential treatment centre for addicted youth, known as The Crossing at Keremeos closed its doors, the owner of the property says work to reopen the facility continues.
Central City Foundation president Jennifer Johnstone says a made-in-B.C. solution is being sought to reopen The Crossing and the foundation has been working to find new partners.
The Crossing’s previous operator, an eastern Canadian based non-profit called Portage, stopped operating the drug rehab program in March after failing to come to terms with the Provincial Health Services Authority over licensing issues. The Heath Services Authority also no longer leases the property.
Central City Foundation, which owns The Crossing, are a Vancouver based organization with $36 million in assets. Central City describes itself as organization which “looks at the many interconnected elements that come together in a community where hope can triumph over despair.”
Johnstone says progress in finding a new arrangement isn't happening as fast as she would like, but she remains hopeful a new partnership can be formed.
“We aren’t talking to the Provincial Health Authority, but we are talking to others in government,” Johnstone says. They are also talking with several community organizations in the hopes of finding someone willing to establish a drug treatement program at The Crossing.
Johnstone isn't sure what the eventual operating arrangement might look like, but says it would most likely involve a combination of one or more operators from B.C., rather than an extra-provincial operator. She says Central City is trying to secure operating funding from the government to pay for the programming.
“We’ve also been researching whether (youth drug rehabilitation) is still necessary and certainly the message we’re getting from community groups across the province, is yes, we need this kind of facility for young people, and a B.C. operator would be the best possible solution, so that’s what we’re working towards at this point."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015