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Wapiti Community Support Association turns old Sunrise House into sober living centre

Grande Prairie’s Wapiti House recently acquired the old Sunrise House facility and completed renovations to convert the facility into a sober living centre for Wapiti Community Support clients.

According to Project Lead Jared Gossen, the building was purchased in December and can support up to 10 residents who are abstaining from drugs and alcohol and can stay for up to three months.

Gossen says the centre will act as a sort of “middle-step” for clients coming out of long-term addiction counselling, or those unaffected by addiction but remain unhoused for various reasons.

“The residents there are work-ready or are awaiting a treatment program, sometimes in between detox and a treatment program,” he says. “Essentially it is the resident’s home while they require one.”

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The modified duplex in the Hillside neighbourhood is staffed 24/7, and Gossen says the new facility fills a gap in the need for transitional housing in Grande Prairie.

During their stay, residents of the facility can access support from the Wapiti Community Support Association such as accessing employment services and finding affordable housing when they are ready to live independently again.

“Everyone’s care plan is specific to them, so there’s some people who’s housing instability actually has nothing to do with drugs or alcohol, they have no issue abstaining so we’re supporting them to get back into the workforce,” he says. “It’s kind of a new thing for us to be providing that almost bespoke or person-centred service for those living at the residence, but it’s definitely an underserved population group in our community.”

Operations at the new facility are currently underway, and the current residents consist of both male and female people experiencing homelessness.

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