The Okanagan community really stepped up in December of 2020 for The Bridge Youth & Family Services Youth Recovery House campaign. “We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the community,” say Bridge Executive Director, Celine Thompson, “with this kind of continued support we could open this year”. More than $300,000 was raised in December bringing the organization’s total raised for the campaign to $867,000.
“We both grew up in rural Saskatchewan and know that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. We live in downtown Kelowna and see young people on the streets and back lanes around us struggling with addictions. We also learned that there are currently no live-in treatment centres for youth in the Okanagan and that in addition to the COVID crisis there is also an opioid crisis. We just couldn’t stand by and watch. We wanted to be part of the solution, “says Dean Reidt and Debbie Hubbard who donated $100,000 to the campaign last month.
Along with the $100,000 donation by Dean Reidt and Debbie Hubbard, The Bridge was presented with an anonymous donation of $175,000 in mid-December. “Almost overnight, our goal was within sight, the dream became a reality thanks to these incredibly generous gifts,” says Kelly Paley, Director of Fund Development.
The Okanagan Youth Recovery House will be a place for young people under the age of 19 who are experiencing addiction to receive live-in treatment. Currently, British Columbia has less than 70 publicly funded youth treatment beds. Within the Okanagan, there are zero treatment centres for youth under the age of 17.
The Bridge needs $1 Million to support opening Phase 1 of the Youth Recovery House. The Bridge will continue to apply for grants and rely upon private donations to secure the additional operational resources needed to open the facility. Donations are accepted through the Youth Recovery House website: www.youthrecoveryhouse.ca or by contacting the Director of Fund Development, Kelly Paley at 250 763 0456.