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Kenora council Jan 20A new managed alcohol program was officially announced yesterday at city council in Kenora.

Changes Recovery Homes is very excited to officially announce that a Managed Alcohol Program is coming to Kenora. Councillor Colin Wasacase made the announcement yesterday at city council.

After the meeting, he spoke about the program finally coming to Kenora.

"I think it's going to be an exciting time. Many people, who have been working with the program, are seeing it as an opportunity for the people struggling with alcohol addictions. I think that's our first goal. To try to make them better people and eventually have them participating in the community, as healthy people," he said.

The program will be coming to Kenora in 2015. Many key agencies in the Kenora area partnered together to make the program a reality. They include, the Local Integrated Health Network for northwestern Ontario, the Kenora Substance Abuse and Mental Health Task Force, the Kenora OPP detachment, the Lake of the Woods District Hospital and the City of Kenora.

Mayor Dave Canfield was also very supportive of the project.

"If you mentioned this 20 years ago, people probably would have thought you were crazy, but it's really a program that has been used across the country. The police service is 100 per cent behind this, and so is the Northwestern Health Unit. All the agencies, who have really studied it, are 100 per cent behind it. So, that gives me the encouragement to help make this happen," he said.

The idea behind the program is to reduce the number of homeless men and women, who are addicted to alcohol and provide them with a safe and clean environment. According to the press release, there is extensive evidence-based research that supports the idea that these programs work well.

They effectively provide a safe way to manage an addiction. It also prevents at-risk people from using non-beverage sources of alcohol such as mouthwash, hairspray, rubbing-alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

"I think it's great, because it's a managed program," said Wasacase.

"Alcohol has always been a problem, but I think it's important for us to realize that a managed alcohol program gives people an opportunity to show their capabilities of resisting drinking a lot of alcohol. I think it's important to give them that opportunity," he added.

The program falls in line with the housing first philosophy that the mental task force has been pushing over the last year. However, it did cause some controversy two weeks ago, when tenants found out they were being evicted from their home to make room for the program. The program is going into the building on the corner of Matheson and McLelland.

Wasacase emphasized that many of the community groups involved with the managed alcohol program are working with the tenants to help them find other housing arrangements.

For more information:
Tenants being displaced in Kenora
City leaders support harm reduction program

Interested in running for City Council? Register to attend the Ministry of Municipal Affairs Candidate Information Session on June 20, 2018 at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Kenora Rec Centre. Register before June 15.

Click here to find out more!

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