Our House was founded as a result of concerns by parishioners of St. Stephen the Martyr Anglican church. At the time, the area around the church was surrounded by people in need who used the area as a safe place, and many of them had substance abuse issues. The house was originally founded as a halfway house, looking to give people a way to reshape their lives by providing drop-in services run by a dedicated team of volunteers. Eventual renovations allowed for short stays by young male and female people who use drugs.
Mortgage funds were obtained from Alberta Mortgage and Housing Corporation under the Special Housing Needs Program. The 35-year mortgage received an interest subsidy, which was used to purchase the John Hilton House in the Cromdale area of Edmonton. Our House commits to continued community service.
A Program Manager was hired to create a comprehensive and structured Recovery Program, and a fundraising plan was developed along with a volunteer program.
A series of courses were developed and provided to the community at no charge. The courses included Life Management Skills, and Understanding One’s Anger.
The garage of the John Hilton House is renovated into meeting and office space. An Outreach program is established in order to follow up with clients and provide after-care.
In 2003, Our House receives the “Gold Laurel Award for Innovation and Creativity in the Non-Profit Sector”.
A donation from Homeward Trust for over $3 million CAD is used to purchase larger enhanced facilities located in West Edmonton. The rapid growth requires an increase in the number of counsellors, as well as the addition of a full-time Admissions Supervisor.
In keeping with its ongoing commitment to patient care, Our House begins participating in voluntary reviews by Accreditation Canada in 2010, and receives Accreditation with Commendation status.
The development of both local and provincial partnerships provide Our House with much needed support:
* Alberta Health Services allows for the creation of 4 concurrent disorder treatment beds with Alberta Hospital
* Edmonton Bereavement Centre offers grief/bereavement groups twice a year
* ATB Financial donates a modular trailer for Our House clients to use as a gym and video game area
After starting in 2008 with the capacity for 34 clients, Our House reached its maximum capacity of 58-60 clients in 2014, resulting in a need for a wait list. A customized 160-day graduate refresher program is also established for clients who require additional work.
Our House celebrates its 30th anniversary.