‘Without it I wouldn’t be sitting here today’: London rehab center to close
A rehab center that has helped dozens of people over the past two years is closing at the end of the month because it has run out of donations, keeping its program going.
“Without it, I wouldn’t be where I sit today,” Raimond Blizzard said.
Blizzard is one of 150 people who have sought help from the Salvation Army Center of Hope recovery facility.
He is a recovering alcoholic, sober for 26 months and relied on the London Community Recovery Center to get the help he needed.
“By the time my drinking and addiction ended, I had lost most things in my life, including my desire to live. In a depressed state, I entered rehab for the first time and I asked for help,” Blizzard said.
Donations being exhausted, the center will have to close at the end of March.
“It’s devastating for us,” said Jon DeActis, the executive director. “It was a gap program that fit between those struggling on the streets or in drug rehab to get to treatment and it was the gap that we needed in our community.”
Over the past two years, the center has provided 26 rooms, as well as counseling for people struggling with addictions.
“I know from early recovery experience that change is a terrifying thing, so when an opportunity is going to potentially change or be removed, it brings a lot of uncertainty,” Blizzard said.
Despite the center’s impending closure, he believes there are other ways for people struggling with addiction to find support, through sponsors and meetings.
“There’s a lot of support out there, you just need to have the ability to stay focused and achieve what’s needed to be successful in these programs,” Blizzard said.
Although there are treatment options available in London, the recovery center is the first of its kind, according to DeActis. “It’s the only program of its kind that we know of in Canada.
Without the centre, people struggling with addiction will likely have to wait several months for a bed in a new treatment centre.
However, the general manager says they will do their best to continue the support their community has built.
“We’ve come to an end and are looking for other opportunities that we can find to continue the program,” DeActis said.