Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise donates $50,000 toward six beds for addicted youth - InfoNews

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Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise donates $50,000 toward six beds for addicted youth

FILE PHOTO: A rendering of the proposed Youth Recovery House is pictured in this photo submitted by The Bridge Youth and Family Services.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / The Bridge Youth and Family Services
April 08, 2020 - 3:45 PM

Youth struggling with addiction are now closer to getting a facility for treatment in the Okanagan.

The Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise donated $50,000 to The Bridge Youth and Family Services to support the Okanagan Youth Recovery House. The funding goes towards renovations of a facility that to help people under the age of 19 who are struggling with addiction.

According to the release, B.C. currently has less than 50-publicly funded youth treatment beds, and notes there are no facility-based treatment options for youth under 17 years old in the Okanagan.

The money donated by the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise will be used to renovate and retrofit a building already owned by The Bridge. After the organization meets its goal of $1 million in donations, facilitators will be able to work in the building on Cadder Avenue which will offer six beds for youth seeking addiction treatment.

The donation from Sunrise Rotary brings the total number of donations to $440,000, according to Kelly Paley, director of fund development with The Bridge.

In addition to the $50,000 donation, Sunrise Rotary has committed to donating funds from the upcoming RibFest set to happen this summer.

“British Columbia remains in a state of a public health emergency due to the poisoned drug supply… There has been no recent addition to the province’s meagre inventory of youth treatment beds and, the Central Okanagan sadly continues to have no local resource for these highly vulnerable and at-risk children and youth. They continue to languish on waitlists for space to become available in Vancouver, Prince George or out of province,” says Celine Thompson, executive director of The Bridge in a media release.

This donation isn’t the only one to note, according to Paley. Just over a week ago, The Bridge received $30,000 from an anonymous donor.

Going forward, The Bridge continues to plan for the future to offer more beds for Okanagan youth.

“We have a long term plan to build a 16-bed facility, and that’s a 10 million dollar price tag,” says Paley.

According to the release, The Bridge has received support from the city council, businesses and service clubs. The organization also relies on grants, community fundraising and private donations to meet their goals.

Click here to learn more and donate.

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