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Foothills Centre hosts fund-raiser for expansion

A 4,500 sq. ft. expansion is planned for Foothills Centre in Fort Macleod.

Foothills Centre is about to embark on an expansion that will add needed beds and programming.

On Saturday, Sept. 12 the centre intends to make inroads on a $250,000 fund-raising goal with a silent auction and yard sale.

“What we’re trying to do is to raise funds to expand our building and our services,” said Alicia Cahoon, a transition liaison worker at the centre.

The event, which includes free popcorn and a dunk tank alternative, runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the centre.

Silent auction bidding is under way on the Foothills Centre’s Facebook page.

Foothills Centre provides a safe and caring environment for people who want to withdraw from substance misuse.

The centre’s accredited detox program consists of daily group sessions, treatment referrals, discharge planning, relapse prevention and support resources.

Westco Construction Ltd., which has the contract, will begin work on a 4,500 sq. ft. extension of Foothills Centre in mid September.

Phase 1 of the project includes the realignment and upgrade of the existing services to the facility and the construction of a 4,500 sq. ft. single-story addition behind the existing building.

“It’s something the board has been working on for some time now,” said Val Campbell, executive director at the Foothills Centre. “We’re just doing some of the final details with that but it’s looking like it’s a go.”

The expansion will provide 27 beds, a main floor laundry room and storage space.

Phase 2 will create needed office space

At present, Foothills Centre is funded to provide 16 detox beds.

The centre also has five transition beds, which are funded by the Alberta Rural Development Network.

Additional beds are needed at the Fort Macleod facility, which recently marked its 40th anniversary.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foothills Centre was close to 100 per occupancy.

“We were turning away about two to three people a day,” Campbell said.

In other development, Foothills Centre has started the process of providing medically supported detox.

The centre has contracted the services of the Blood Tribe Emergency Department.

“The benefits of being medically supported is that we will have nursing staff 24-7,” Campbell said. “It will ease up emergency room visits and doctor’s appointments.”

Clients will be able to have a physical examination done, a requirement of many treatment centres.

“We’re just looking at it as such a positive for our clients and our staff,” Campbell said.

Donations to the Foothills Centre’s fund-raising effort of $25 or more will received a charitable tax receipt.

Gifts of more than $1,000 will be noted on a donor recognition board that will be erected at Foothills Centre.