Self-defined Recovery Centre coming to London, thanks to The Salvation Army Centre of Hope

Nov. 16, 2018

We know substance abuse is a challenge in our community. Unfortunately, many individuals seeking recovery from substance abuse have a lack of consistent, viable treatment options - until now.

Seeking to break the deep-rooted cycle of poverty, addiction and mental health, Salvation Army Centre of Hope is establishing the Recovery Centre London, a place where those seeking recovery from substance abuse can self-define their recovery.  With $244,500 from the Smart & Caring Community Fund and $35,680 from the TD Canada Trust Merv Lahn Community Development Fund, LCF is happy to grant a grand total of $280,180 to Salvation Army, one of this year’s Community Vitality grant recipients!

“At the Recovery Community Center, you will be met with peer supports, people themselves who are in recovery who will walk with you on your journey to recovery. We also recognize that for some people there will be lapse and relapse. It's often not a straight path to recovery. But in that way there will also be services here to support you through those times.” - Charlotte Dingwall, Executive Director, The Salvation Army Centre of Hope

Rather than operating as a traditional treatment centre, Recovery Centre London will offer five pillars of support to provide a holistic approach to people seeking recovery from problematic substance abuse and who may have concurrent mental health instability:

  1. Recovery Living: supportive housing model, safe and affordable private room accommodations for up to four years with access to Community Centre and other pillars

  2. Recovery Activities: peer-led, they will provide emotional, informational, instrumental and relational support.  Activities and relationships will be of meaning, including things such as stress relief workshops, resume building, and a community kitchen.

  3. Formal Services: with the help of local organizations, Salvation Army will work collaboratively to provide medical and non-medical services which may include referrals to doctors, HIV testing, chiropractic care, counselling and more

  4. Peer Support: trained and certified peers provide support through experience sharing, role modeling and the face of success.  They will help to initiate Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP), coaching,and telephone support.

  5. Withdrawal management and stabilization: located on-site, providing an option for those that experience relapse and lapses.  This will bridge the gap between detox and treatment.

“Often one of the scary parts of recovery is the idea of leaving the people you know and the things you were doing, because you’re stepping into a new life. So, we see the Recovery Community Centre as a place that people will be embraced in the decision that they've made and a place of belonging, a way to establish new relationships, a way to begin to think about what could life looked like differently as they work towards recovery.” - Charlotte Dingwall

With as little as one night spent on the street being linked to an increase chance of relapse, providing access to safe and affordable housing can act as a gateway to recovery.  Causes of housing instability often go back to circumstances beyond the individual’s control, such as violence, abuse, trauma, and chronic physical or mental health challenges. Supportive housing during recovery will create stability for each individual, having a positive impact on other aspects of their lives like financial stability, social support networks, and personal health practices.

“Many of the people who seek withdrawal services from us are precariously housed or are experiencing homelessness. In a recovery living model those people will be able to stay for a longer period of time and receive wrap-a-round support, not just problematic substance use but also other things that might be impacting their lives. Sometimes it might be mental health, long term employment, interrupted education, or traumatic relationships.” - Charlotte Dingwall

The Salvation Army Centre of Hope will be working to not only break the cycle of poverty, substance abuse and homelessness, but they are also committed to shifting attitudes. From reducing stigma to creating a sense of belonging and fostering an inclusive environment, this self-defined recovery has the potential to build and strengthen local recovery capacity and the continuum of services.

Congratulations to The Salvation Army Centre of Hope! We’re excited to see the transformative impact over the next few years. A huge thanks, of course, goes to our Smart & Caring Community Fund donors!  Our Community Vitality grants simply wouldn’t be possible without them.