Well running dry at The 705 Recovery Community Centre; Raise-a-Thon for Recovery hopes to change that

Four windows, four recoveries, 24 hours

He’s been clean and sober for 15 months, but Todd Palmer of Barrie knows he has a long road ahead of him. And with few services offering help along that road, and little in the way of funding to keep existing services in place, he wants to ensure that help remains.

To that end, he and three others will spend 24-hours – May 8 to 9 – sitting in the window of The 705 Recovery Community Centre on Dunlop Street West raising funds to help keep the centre open, “… a place like this, that has been deemed essential by the Governor-General, allows us to be able to – when I say us, I mean those suffering from addiction and suffering from alcoholism – to get together to connect to, you know, share, and to really get well, stay well and stay alive.”

Executive Director Bill Zane says “We opened the centre during the pandemic. Every place that held 12 step meetings was closed because of public health measures. Addicts and alcoholics need meetings and fellowship to survive.”

Walk through the doors of The 705 and you find people who can relate, who have been through similar things, have felt similar things, who have felt the despair and desperation. There will be people to connect with who will help those willing to help themselves. And not just with alcoholism and substance abuse, says Jordan Mathias, six years clean and sober, the centre also offers grief counselling and mother’s support groups to anyone who needs it, “I’m talking all walks of lives here, doctors, lawyers, people who are just coming out of a ditch. What The 705 offers me is a place to share my experience with those who are new to recovery, and with those who have been in a while … and share my story with people suffering in there, and offer them a place to go where, you know, we can get better.”

Mathias says he loves his life today, remembering when he was the kind of guy, when he was drinking, nobody wanted around, “I was kicked out of a band, what kind of musician gets kicked out of a band because he drinks and parties too much.”

As serious as the Raise-a-Thon for Recovery is, Todd, Jordan and the others hope to have some fun with it as well, “You know, someone can donate money to rent us a chair for an hour, someone can donate some money to give us an extra pee break or an extra coffee or something like that … people can donate money to have a little fun with us, like maybe they want one of us to stand on a foot for an hour… Maybe they want one of us to run around the block in our underwear.”

You don’t have to wait until May 8 to help keep The 705 alive. Donations can be made online at the705Barrie.com.