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A rendering of the new Sophia Recovery Centre location in Saint John's north end. Image: Submitted

Sophia Recovery Centre announces new Saint John location

By Brad Perry Jun 1, 2023 | 5:00 PM

The Sophia Recovery Centre in Saint John is moving to a new home in the city’s north end.

Officials announced Thursday that they have secured a 3,600-square-foot space at 238 Metcalf Street.

Julie Atkinson, the centre’s executive director, said they have long since outgrown their uptown space.

“We’re going to have triple the amount of space to accommodate the kinds of programs that we run,” Atkinson said in an interview.

“That includes things like one-on-one counselling and peer support, but also group programs.”

Sophia Recovery Centre is a non-residential centre providing continuing care for women in recovery from addiction.

The centre first opened in an 1,100-square-foot ground-floor apartment on Hazen Street in 2008. It has since added locations in Rothesay and St. Stephen to meet growing demand.

In addition to size limitations, the age and condition of the centre’s original uptown space have created ongoing issues. It was forced to close temporarily in March after frozen pipes burst and caused flooding.

The new space combines small meeting rooms, larger community spaces and an outdoor garden area. It will have cozy nooks for reading and journaling, a welcoming kitchen and a living room.

“We’re really delighted we could make this announcement,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson said they hope to be in the new space by the end of the year, but first, they need to complete their $1.5-million fundraising campaign.

About 75 per cent of that has been raised so far, which includes $485,000 announced by the province on Thursday.

“We really hope that the construction work on the project can start in September or earlier in the funding can come through,” she said.

The centre has launched a Buy a Brick campaign that provides an opportunity for members of the public and the business community to support the move.

Etched glass plaques will be mounted on a custom-designed floor-to-ceiling gratitude wall in the new building’s main entrance to recognize donors.

“The brick Gratitude Wall will be our way of paying tribute to the community that came together to literally raise a roof and build a safe place for women to recover and be well in our community,” said Atkinson.

“Our waiting list continues to grow and we’re not able to provide the support these women need from our current location.”

In 2022, more than 300 women visited the centre with more than 5,075 appointments made for counselling, peer check-ins, and group programs.

You can learn more about the Buy a Brick campaign online or by calling 506-271-5278.


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