Construction on a new 75-bed addition and mental health challenges recovery centre in Red Deer has begun.
A large contingent of dignitaries were on hand for a groundbreaking at the new site, located in Red Deer’s north end, in the Chiles Industrial Park Friday afternoon.
“This recovery community is more than simply a building – it is a symbol of hope that our community and province desperately needs,” said Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston.
“Helping people enter recovery from addiction and lead a more fulfilling, productive life helps us all. Thank you to the provincial government for adding this support to the City of Red Deer.”
The Red Deer recovery community, which will be fully funded by Alberta’s government, is being built on a 10-acre parcel of land and construction is expected to be completed by fall 2022.
The recovery community will start admitting clients soon after that. Once operational, the recovery community will create more than 100 jobs.
The construction contract price is approximately $20 million, including the initial $5-million investment made in 2020 through Alberta’s Recovery Plan. The government said it expects 136 construction jobs will be created.
“The Red Deer recovery community will be the first of its kind to be built in Alberta,” said Mike Ellis, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“Alberta’s government is taking tangible steps to ensure that Albertans across the province have access to treatment by building recovery communities, funding over 4,000 more annual treatment spaces and eliminating user fees for all publicly funded treatment.”
Recovery communities are a form of long-term residential treatment that focus on supporting people who are pursuing recovery, according to the Government of Alberta.
When asked about how an overdose prevention site and the new recovery community can work together to help a community, Ellis said “addiction itself is very complex. There’s no one single solution to this.”
“We will be working with Mayor Johnston and his team because we want to do what’s best for the people of Red Deer,” Ellis said.
Minister of Infrastructure Prasad Panda said “we appreciate the collaboration of multiple levels of government and central Albertans for their support of this life-saving facility.”
”With a location identified earlier this year and a contractor now in place, the Red Deer recovery community is moving steadily forward,” said Panda.