A recovery centre for women has been proposed for a site near Jarvis Bay on the east side of Sylvan Lake.
The Sylvan Lake Lakeside Recovery Centre would be located on 80 acres of land that includes a 10,000-square-foot building used as a conference centre and church.
Adeara runs an accredited addiction recovery centre for women and their children in Edmonton. The organization provides long-term, research-based and faith-based programming to women in need in a residential setting. Adeara says it is the only accredited recovery program where children can join their mother as she frees herself from addiction.
The organization wants to use the existing home on the site as a residence for up to 12 women who will be part of a 90-day program. Most of the women who arrive have lost guardianship of their children and those first three months provide time to have their children returned to them.
After completing the 90-day program the women may return to Edmonton or Calgary for further treatment.
The project is a partnership with the PAR (People at Risk) Foundation, which bought the property after its owner Maureen Ranaghan died in 2019. PAR is fundraising towards the $2.5 million purchase cost.
An application has already been submitted to Lacombe County to amend the land use bylaw to allow the treatment centre as a special discretionary use on the scenic property.
A public meeting has been set for Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the property, which is located at 1328 Township Road 392.
Ranaghan was a Catholic nun who inherited the property from her family, which had owned it for decades. She donated half of the quarter section to the Kiwanis Club of Red Deer for the Girl Scouts and kept the other half, which she wanted to use in support of her faith.
For the last few years, the building has been used as a prayer and conference centre and church services have been held each Sunday.
It is proposed that six bedrooms, which would be shared by two women, be created and there would be a resident couple on site. Therapists would commute to the site each day and visitors would only be allowed from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Adeara has been offering a treatment program in Edmonton since 1998 that has helped nearly 700 women. About 25 per cent of the women treated are Indigenous and seven out of 10 have children.
The organization says it has an 80 per cent recovery success rate, compared with an average success rate of 17 per cent in other recovery programs.