Patricia Mamis, public affairs director for the Salvation Army’s Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre in Victoria, and executive director Maj. Brian Slous show off the Johnson Street facility’s renovated reception area.                                 Tim Collins/Victoria News

Patricia Mamis, public affairs director for the Salvation Army’s Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre in Victoria, and executive director Maj. Brian Slous show off the Johnson Street facility’s renovated reception area. Tim Collins/Victoria News

Salvation Army’s renovation vital for Victoria addiction program operations

Creating a more suitable place for residents, other clients, crucial: staffer

Tim Collins/Victoria News

The Salvation Army’s Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) is nearing the end of a five-year effort to refurbish its interior space.

According to Patricia Mamis, the centre’s public affairs director, the work will allow the facility to improve upon an already impressive record of helping people in crisis.

ARC is a 147-bed facility that has been situated in downtown Victoria for nearly 35 years. It provides shelter in a drug- and alcohol-free environment and helps those with addictions to regain control of their lives. The centre serves hundreds of people daily and runs at full capacity every day of the year. Programs include emergency and transitional housing, counselling, hot meals for anyone in need and addictions recovery education and support.

The building housing the ARC was constructed to residential standards, with materials that have not withstood the heavy use over time. When a professional assessment of the building’s interior was commissioned a few years ago, it was discovered that critical operating systems were reaching the end of their useful life.

“The living environment of an individual can play a significant part in a person’s self-worth, so this work was also required to provide the setting for a sense of value to the people we serve,” said Mamis.

The renovations are the culmination of a five-year strategic plan to install a new elevator, replace room and dormitory furnishings, renovate the four washrooms, and refurbish and re-equip the computer and life-skills labs. Improvements also include a new main entrance and chapel and an upgrade of lighting, plumbing and electrical safety and HVAC systems.

The project was made possible through the generosity of local individuals, businesses and the government, which combined to fund the majority of the $2.5-million renovation.

“We’re very grateful for the funds we’ve received to date, but as we near the end of the building work, we find ourselves facing a $300,000 shortfall to complete the work,” said Mamis.

To address that shortfall, donors are invited to step forward to help.

“We are also offering legacy naming opportunities to some of the major rooms within the building,” she said. “If someone is interested in naming a room after a loved one or another significant person, we invite them to contact the Salvation Army.”

The Salvation Army is hosting an open house this Friday (June 2) at 525 Johnson St. from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited to view the facility, ask questions and make a donation if they desire.

editor@vicnews.com

Salvation Army