Fundraising for transitional housing in Kelowna underway - InfoNews

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Fundraising for transitional housing in Kelowna underway

An artist's rendition of the apartment building Freedom's Door in Kelowna wants to build for men recovering from drug addiction.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED
March 27, 2017 - 8:00 PM

KELOWNA - A fundraising campaign to build an apartment building in Kelowna for men recovering from drug addiction is just over $3 million away from its goal.

Freedom House would be a 51-suite complex run by the local non-profit group Freedom’s Door. The estimated cost of the building is $9.5 million and the group still needs to raise $3.1 million.

“Is is a lofty goal? Yes. But does our community have the ability to help? Yes," Freedom’s Door founder and director Tom Smithwick says.

The tranistional housing will target those who have graduated the 90 day recovery program and need ongoing community support.

“For those who don’t have family Freedom’s Door becomes their family,” Smithwick says. “A good number of our men struggle with mental health issues and will always struggle in life because of this, whether they have an active addiction or not.”

The proposed apartment building will replace Belaire House which currently has room for 10 men. Smithwick says once the Freedom House is built, Freedom’s Door will sell this property.

The setup of the building will facilitate a community-based atmosphere, he says. Every night there will be a dinner in the dining room, along with a shuffle board and pool table in the foyer, so residents can come together.

“The worst enemy is isolation,” Smithwick says. “We don’t want people isolated, so we need to have socialization and community for residents to stay healthy.”

Additionally, the house will be geared to providing employment training. Residents will earn their food safe ticket and work in the home’s kitchen. There will be training for work in the service industry and a six month janitorial course will be offered.

“The entire program is meant to offer as much training and life skills as possible,” Smithwick says.

For now however, funds need to be raised in order to construct the apartment complex. 

Land for the property has already been purchased for $1.2 million, at the corner of McCurdy and Rutland Road, and the organization has already raised about $800,000. A request for $4 million has been sent to B.C. Housing, and Smithwick hopes to hear back within the next two months.

A fundraising banquet will be held for the project on April 21, 2017 at New Life Church. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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