Mission Services is expanding its addiction treatment branch by moving to a new downtown location close to other services by the end of the year.
Quintin Warner House is moving to 457 York St. and adding 10 new treatment beds.
The new location is attached to the Men’s Mission and the former site of the agency’s crash beds program, which closed in 2018.
Executive director Peter Rozeluk said the move is an exciting change and a needed one.
“We have been advocating for increased funding; we’ve been advocating for more beds, so this is a delight to be able to double our capacity,” he said.
“We have evidence to show that during COVID, the pandemic, there weren’t any COVID-related deaths in the emergency shelter system in the city, but we do know that there were opioid deaths in the shelter system. So anything that we can do to help with addictions is, well, that’s a bonus, that’s a win for the city.”
Once finished, the new location will be able to help 20 men 18 and older recover from addiction. Those at Quintin Warner House participate in the four-month, live-in addiction treatment program.
Staff say the current 477 Queens Ave. location will be used for transitional housing after people leave the program.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that addiction is on the rise, and there are very few streets you can drive on in London and not see addiction and homelessness,” said program supervisor Lisa Misselbrook. “Adding 20 beds that are living in treatment beds for people to get stable, practise wellness, and get their feet on the ground, that will contribute greatly to our community and the people who are struggling.”
Funding for the expansion comes from the Ontario government’s addiction recovery fund, which will provide $584,000 over two years.
“Now more than ever, it is critically important to ensure that everyone can access the safe and effective mental health and addictions services they deserve — when and where they need them,” said Michael Tibollo, associate minister of mental health and addictions.
In addition to doubling the facility’s capacity, the funding will allow for enhancements like additional group meeting rooms, increased staff support to serve participant needs better, and a planned subsequent expansion of the annex housing aftercare program.
Staff expect the York Street site to be ready by the fall.