The Comox Valley Transition Society envisions a recovery centre for women at 280 Second St. where the Laurel Lodge seniors facility used to operate.
The society has responded to an Island Health Request For Proposal to operate nine beds for women recovering from substance use, though it is advocating for 12 beds. The proposed name is Amethyst House.
“The facility will be safe and secure,” CVTS executive director Heather Ney said Monday in a presentation to Courtenay council. “The property is zoned correctly for this purpose. We are committed to being good neighbours.”
If the society can secure a contract by the end of the fiscal year, she said the aim would be to open by July 1.
Since 1999, CVTS has provided stabilization — or social detox — and supportive recovery beds at the Lilli House shelter for women dealing with negative effects of substance use.
“In those 15 years, CVTS’ partnership with VIHA (Island Health) and St. Joseph’s Hospital has provided residential support to 564 women at Lilli House,” Ney said. “The length of stay has been limited to six weeks maximum.
“The need for a safe, supportive place for women to recover is much greater than what we have been able to provide,” she added.
Ney noted two other local examples of facilities that have co-existed in residential neighbourhoods: the Comox Valley Recovery Centre and the Salvation Army shelter.
“Our community has demonstrated that services to vulnerable populations can successfully and safely be housed within our own neighbourhoods.”