CBC News · Posted: Apr 24, 2024 3:28 PM CDT

A new recovery centre for women named after a long-time Winnipeg addictions treatment advocate is set to be built at a south Winnipeg hospital.

More than two years after opening a men-only recovery centre with his wife, Scott Oake announced plans to open a new women-only centre at Winnipeg's Victoria Hospital.

"From the start of the project that became the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, a women's centre was always in our plans," Oake said at a news conference at the hospital on Wednesday.

Called the Anne Oake Family Recovery Centre in honour of his wife, who died in 2021 shortly after the Bruce Oake centre opened, the facility will provide extra beds and a licensed daycare on site to accommodate women and their children.

"Women often have a different set of needs when it comes to recovery than do men, and those needs often entail children," Oake said.

"A lot of women are reluctant to go into recovery because they're afraid they're going to lose their kids."

Oake announced his plans to open a women-only centre last fall, but at that point the centre's location and opening date had not been decided.

The centre, which will have 50 to 70 beds at an estimated cost of more than $20 million, will be funded through the Bruce Oake Foundation, Oake said.

Premier Wab Kinew said when Oake approached him about opening the facility at Victoria Hospital, "it was an absolute immediate 'Yes.'"

"I think all of us have a deep reverence for the amazing work that Scott and his team have done with the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, and they've helped so many men to be able to turn their lives around," Kinew said at the news conference where he officially announced his plans to start construction on a new emergency room at Victoria Hospital within two years.

"But when Scott explained that he wanted to do the Anne Oake recovery centre so that women, so the two-spirit folks have a destination on their recovery journeys, I said 'Yeah, it makes perfect sense.'"

Oake says the centre will be larger than the Bruce Oake facility, a 43,000 square-foot building in Winnipeg's Crestview neighbourhood that cost $15 million.

That centre — named after Scott and Anne's son, who died of a drug overdose in 2011 — has a 57 per cent success rate, Oake said.

Source: CBC News