“I can honestly say I’d be dead if it wasn’t for Trinity,” Justin Ball said at the public hearing for the men’s support house in Prince Rupert. “To say this is a good idea falls short of what this town needs.”
Four men came forward at the March 26 public hearing for a zoning bylaw that will allow the support house at 333 11th Avenue East. Three of the men who spoke have been through treatment for alcohol or addiction, and Ball is currently living at Trinity House.
“I am one of the inpatients, I guess you call it, who live there. I’ve been clean and sober now for four months and four days,” Ball said.
Another man, Graham Edwards, is a volunteer support worker at 333 11th Avenue East. Edwards said he is also a recovering addict and alcoholic who got out of treatment last April. He said the services and support offered at Trinity is much needed by men in Prince Rupert.
The last person to speak at the hearing was Ken Hallet, who works at the extreme weather shelter in Prince Rupert. The born and raised Rupertite said 90 to 95 per cent of the people staying at the shelter have addiction or alcohol issues.
Trinity House is a valuable asset to the community, Hallet said, adding that he has stayed at recovery houses down south, and the facility in Prince Rupert is much nicer. Hallet said he thinks Rupert also needs a recovery house, a detox centre, “anything else that promotes recovery.”
On March 26, more than half of the benches in city hall were full as the city planner presented his report for the bylaw. Mayor Lee Brain thanked those who came to show their support for Trinity House, adding that he is also in full support of the facility.
Councillor Blair Mirau said, “In terms of a land use perspective, we’re talking about special care residential in a residential zone. I think from a land use perspective, not only are the uses compatible, there’s no conflict and it also supports integration, which is the whole goal of the program. That’s why I’m supportive of this. I think we’ve got the proper safeguard in place for the housing agreement.”
The zoning bylaw passed its third and final reading and was unanimously adopted by council.