East Central Alberta is coming to grips with the news that there is no more passenger bus service between Calgary and Saskatoon.
Affected communities include Drumheller, Beiseker, Hanna and Oyen. Exactly how many diverse people are affected is just starting to come to light.
"It really puts Grace House in a tough situation, where now we have to take on a large part of the transportation," reported Joseph Legacy, executive director for the Drumheller Society for Recovery. "We're working on that trying to figure out a solution in house for that temporarily and see what else happens within the community, but we have to transport clients to and from their places of origin."
"Not always do they have the means nor opportunity to be able to travel without using a bus," he elaborated. "Once they're here for 40 days and they want to go home and reconnect with some family, and that's an important part of recovery is that connection, it's not going to be supported as actively as it once was."
Grace House helps men overcome alcohol and/or drug addiction and get them back into the community as contributing members. Some of them even stay in Drumheller once their treatment is finished.
"This is almost a city in rural Alberta, it's not just three or four houses on a lane," argued Legacy. "There's a service that needs to come to here, as a centralized hub, to help with extended rural Alberta as a point of getting in and out to the cities that don't have other means."
Legacy points out that wait lists for addiction treatment are long as it is and he says anything that makes it harder to get treatment for clients just makes things worse.