Harm reduction home staffers get new ideas for future facility

Staff members from the local wet shelter alcohol program are back from their trip to the nation's capital where their eyes were opened to new ideas that might prove successful in Sudbury.

Staff members back from Ottawa trip with hopes to apply inclusive, welcoming attitude

The future facility in Sudbury, Ont., will hand out doctor-prescribed alcohol to help residents deal with their addiction, which is already happening in this Vancouver home. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Staff members from the local wet shelter alcohol program are back from their trip to the nation's capital where their eyes were opened to new ideas that might prove successful in Sudbury.

"To them it's not a treatment facility, it's their home," the Canadian Mental Health Association's Tina Ranta said in reference to residents of the programs in Ottawa. She and other staff members toured two Shepherds of Good Hope facilities to see how they approach people addicted to alcohol. 

Sudbury staff got the opportunity to see first-hand how folks create an inclusive community for those affected. 

"They have a lot of questions," said Lindy Rosko with the Ottawa non-profit group. "But it's good to see such a keen group."

The future facility in Sudbury will hand out doctor-prescribed alcohol to help residents deal with their addiction. They'd like to minimize the amount of alcoholic alternatives — such as mouthwash — being consumed by some.

They say they hope to learn from Ottawa's own positive and negative experiences to build a successful centre for those with alcohol issues. The treatment home also aims to be an inviting place for future residents. 

"Being open and wanting to share with the community," said Ranta, the manager of the future harm reduction home. She added the facility will be shaped by local needs. 

A location for the Sudbury centre has not yet been chosen. 

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