Pathways Addictions Resource Centre has been served notice by Interior Health that they (IH) are ‘repatriating” the 3 addictions contracts that Pathways has run for over 20 years. According to Daryl Meyers, Executive Director of Pathways, Interior Health stated that as of May 31, 2021 they will be transitioning all the addictions services in-house to establish “a single point of access” to develop team based care with IH clinicians. Interior Health stated they have had a long relationship with Pathways and it is not about the service that Pathways has provided.
So where does this leave clients? Pathways has been instructed to prepare to transition clients to IH. What this looks like is unknown at this time but in the meantime we are making every effort to support our current clients during through their treatment plan. Pathways will be meeting with IH over the coming months to develop a transition plan. Pathways serves over 1000 clients a year and both the staff and Board are very concerned how this transition process is going to take place. Every single client who comes through our door is in an extremely vulnerable situation and being able to provide timely service at a community level is key. Pathways recognizes everyone is disturbed about the overdose numbers but that is just a very small percentage of the clients we serve. Alcohol is still the number one drug that brings people through the door and the deaths from alcohol are staggering as well. Staff hope that alcohol use disorder clients will receive the same service once the transition takes place.
Where does this leave Pathways? As funding from IH makes up 95% of the budget, Pathways is uncertain how they will remain open after May 31, 2021. Pathways has been the cornerstone in the community for over 47 years providing a continuum of care for thousands of people who have struggled with substance use and addiction. The staff and Board are determined to stay open. Our wish is to continue to serve the community and are working on some initiatives and alternative funding sources to hopefully make this happen.