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Media Release - Teen Challenge Receives Approval from St.John's City Council to Move Forward with Addictions Treatment Centre

Posted on January 26th 2016 by Atlantic Men's Centre

January 25, 2016 - St. John's, NL:
St.John's City Council has voted to approve an application from Teen Challenge Canada to establish Atlantic Hope Women's Centre, a residential addictions treatment program for women, on Fowler's Road on the outskirts of St.John's.

The vote was held today at City Council's public meeting. The vote by Council follows unanimous approval for the project by the City's Planning and Development Committee, which accepted a recommendation by City staff to initiate a text amendment allowing "group homes" as a conditional use for Teen Challenge's property, currently zoned as rural. The Committee then recommended the project to City Council.

"We are absolutely delighted with this decision, as it brings us closer to opening a much-needed addiction rehabilitation centre for women in this province, and throughout the Atlantic Region," said Dan Murray, CEO of Teen Challenge Canada. "We wish to thank both City staff and Councilors for their support and recognition of the accelerating levels of drug addiction in our communities."

Teen Challenge is an internationally-recognized program, which operates several programs for both men and women in Canada. It offers a faith-based approach, and during the 12 months of treatment, residents are offered accredited counseling services, along with academic and vocational training that helps to equip them for re-entry into the community.

In its third and most recent application to City Council, Teen Challenge agreed to City Council's requirement to upgrade Fowler's Road, at a cost of more than one million dollars. The charitable organization is not seeking any municipal or provincial funding to establish its treatment centre, as the cost of the program is borne primarily through private donations. Although monies have been raised to purchase the Fowler's Road property, renovate several existing onsite buildings and to secure zoning, Teen Challenge is now committed to launch an additional campaign to raise funds to open the centre, secure operational funds and upgrade Fowler's Road to municipal standards.

"We want to publicly thank the individuals, businesses, churches and community groups throughout Newfoundland and Labrador who have given financial support to this vital endeavor," said Ray Andrews, co-chair of Teen Challenge's local steering committee.

"The have seen the desperation of those dealing with addiction, and have stepped forward to be a part of the solution. Their partnership is vital to bringing the Atlantic Hope Women's Centre to fruition, and we look forward to working with them and others, as we move forward."

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have contributed through annual golf tournaments, Trail to Triumph Runs, banquets, and various church outreaches. For the past three years, Circle K (a branch of Alimentation Couche-Tard) has also participated in "Point of Sale" campaigns, in which convenience stores across the Atlantic Provinces collect loonies and toonies in support of the Atlantic Hope Women's Centre.

The next steps of the municipal process include two public hearings and a request to the Provincial Government to release the proposed Text Amendment. Pending a positive outcome of those processes, City Council would give final approval. This would be followed by the design of the road upgrade, and Teen Challenge's procurement of construction work, all of which can be expected to take several months.

"Although we are anxious to offer help to women struggling with addiction as quickly as we can, we want to ensure we meet all the appropriate requirements for what we believe is a long-term investment in the new hope and freedom for those we serve," added Mr.Murray. "We will continue to work with municipal officials to expedite the processes, and establish a "road to recovery" for those trapped in addiction, which continues to damage their lives with each day they wait for help."

Media Contact:
Brent Campbell
Teen Challenge Canada

Click here for a PDF copy of this release

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