March 06, 2015 - 3:56 PM
PENTICTON - A Keremeos residential treatment facility for addicted youth known as The Crossing suddenly closed its doors yesterday, ending the service and sending roughly 20 people out of work.
The facility was operated by Portage British Columbia, which confirmed the closure today, March 6. Portage spokesperson Christina Panagio said after a dispute with the provincial government over costs, they decided to pull the plug.
“We’re very sorry, especially to the dedicated, competent staff who were part of the Portage family,” Panagio said. “We couldn’t come to an agreement with the provincial government over the cost of running the facility.”
The facility opened in 2009 on a 58-acre property located approximately six kilometres west of the village. The Crossing provided a residential rehabilitation treatment program for adolescents between the ages of 14-18.
Staff were informed Thursday of the decision. They were offered positions at other Portage facilities. Two staff members will remain at the site to close the facility. It is not known at this time what will become of the treatment centre.
Cawston resident Maria MacKenzie worked at The Crossing until the end of February. She said she saw the writing on the wall when the last resident left the treatment centre. MacKenzie quit the centre a week before it shut its doors.
MacKenzie said admissions had been on hold at the centre since Oct. 31. She said she was disappointed in how the facility was closed.
“They kept those people on a string for so long. Right up to the final week they were told they were revamping the workshops,” she said.
Portage is a non-profit organization that helps people suffering from substance abuse. It operates 12 other programs in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario. Keremeos was Portage’s only facility in B.C.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015