Casey Richardson

Hoping to lessen the stigma that individuals suffering from addiction face while raising funds for their recovery program, Penticton's Discovery House is approaching its largest fundraising event.

The Shed the Light on Addiction campaign aims to build the brightest house on the block to remember those who lost their addiction in the past year.

On Wednesday, the Recovery Resource Society accepted a check for $20,000 from one of its biggest supporters, Janet Parker. She has worked with Discovery House since her son Colin passed away from an overdose on October 4, 2016.

Thanks to your donation and many others, Discovery House is now halfway to its $150,000 goal.

“We understand that things are totally difficult and we just ask people to give what they can and support us in other ways if they can do that,” said Brent Rowland, the home’s program coordinator.

“The $150,000 goal pays for four treatment beds. So it helps the guys get through Discovery House and do their program. A lot of our guys that come in don't pay anything out of pocket. They get assistance from the government through the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. But unfortunately, the ministry only pays us less than 36 dollars a day to support these boys. And that is far below what we actually have to pay to give them the care they need. “

Rowland himself is recovering and shared that when he reached a point where he wanted and could give back, he reached out to Discovery House.

“I started as a support worker, just part-time, and over time, I grew into the space where I ran programming here and became more of a management role,” he added.

“Now I’m finishing my master’s degree to become a counselor so I can help in more ways at home.”

Richard Thompson, who has been part of the house as a team member for just eight months, said that when he was a client, it was inspiring to see how much the community rallies behind the organization.

“I wouldn’t be where I am, or I might not even be alive without coming home. I was in a really bad situation before I came here and this place saved my life,” he said.

“I think addiction affects almost everyone in the world right now. Even if you don't struggle with addiction, you know someone who struggles with addiction or you know someone who knows someone, I think it's woven into every fabric of life and something that's not going away.”

Last year, almost 80 men went through the program.

A festive open house and annual lighting will take place on Saturday, December 16, at Discovery House.

“It's definitely our biggest fundraiser of the year. But it's also a time when we can reflect on the work we've done throughout the year. It's just a way for us to also say thank you to this community that supports us so much. We're proud of the work that we do, but we know we couldn’t do it alone,” Rowland said.

The community is encouraged to participate with an open heart and mind.

“I think a lot of people understand that addiction is a problem especially in our society and in our community, but [it’s about] understanding that these guys are not the invisible population, they are here trying to change their lives,” Rowland added.

“To put a face to some of these stories that we hear about addiction and what happens on the streets, and when people come out of addiction and everything, and meet some of these guys who are incredible individuals who are really working hard to change their lives. .”

The event at Discovery House, located at 633 Winnipeg Street, will begin with an open house and refreshments from 4 to 5 p.m., before recovery and house enlightenment speakers take place from 5 to 6 p.m.

To support the campaign, people can purchase a Christmas light bulb for $10 or a set of 25 lights for $250 to help light up their halfway house. The campaign runs until December 31st.

For more informations, visit their website hereelectronic transfer to [email protected] or call 250-809-6075

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