Grace House on 3 St. SW in Drumheller has been helping addicts get back on their feet for almost 28 years and a companion house could be open in Drumheller later this year.
"Grace House is a treatment centre; we provide housing after treatment," explained Earl Thiessen, the Program Manager for Oxford House in Alberta. "A lot of people have to go back to the same environment, with family that's using or friends that are using, and it's hard to stay sober without support around you. There will be five guys in the house and they all support each other with their recovery."
They've purchased a house and furnished it to house up to five men who will stay there as they work to become contributing members of society.
"There's a lot of stereotypes about addicts and alcoholics and we always say just give us a chance," stated Thiessen, who added staying sober is mandatory for Oxford House residents. "When it comes to people who are addicted to opioids, we allow them to take their Suboxyl and their Methadone or whatever they have to take, but they have to do off-site administration."
"People are wondering why there's four or five guys at a house and they never hear partying and the yard is always mowed and the sidewalks and house are always kept up," he noted. "It's because that's part of the program that we run: they have to maintain that house like it's their own."
Thiessen said they already have people ready to become tenants at the new Oxford House, but they want to make sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed before they open.