The relocation of Sault Ste. Marie’s residential withdrawal management program has been approved by the province, MPP Ross Romano said in an announcement Monday morning.
It is news that many addiction services advocates said they have been waiting for.
The services will be moved from the temporary location at Sault Area Hospital (SAH) to a “modern, dedicated site that better meets the needs of individuals and families” in the Algoma District, Romano said in a news release.
The new site is located at 145 Old Garden River Road and involves the renovation of more than 16,000 square feet of space and 20 adult beds.
An addictions group in Sault Ste. Marie is calling for more transparency when it comes to a planned addictions facility in the city. (Photo from video)
After a fire and flood at the original site, the services were moved temporarily to the Sault Area Hospital in 2020.
“I am so proud to bring this message of hope to the people of our community who are suffering and to their families. This significant investment of nearly $20 million is the result of years of hard work by Sault Area Hospital staff and countless community stakeholders, “Romano said.
“This new in-patient site will complement the significant investments our government has already made to build out-of-hospital services and numerous community wrap-around supports and services that aim to prevent trauma to a vulnerable person in crisis, before they end up in hospital. These supports are all critical to help people heal and thrive.”
Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliot said this will help area residents access key services and support needed to improve their mental wellness.
The Ministry of Health is providing more than $18 million in capital grant funding in the next year for the project in addition to the more than $1 million it gave for its planning.
“Approval of the implementation grant will enable SAH to begin construction of the project in May 2022 and complete construction in December 2022. It will support SAH in delivering withdrawal management services in the most appropriate setting,” Romano said.
“Our ability to offer improved services, more beds and enhanced treatment space will support patients in their recovery,” said Ila Watson, the president and CEO of the Sault Area Hospital.