Pubdate: Sat, 02 Sep 2006
Source: Now, The (Surrey, CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 The Now Newspaper
Author: Delia Oliveira


The Editor,

Re: "Drug-recovery clients vow to stay at Cornerstone Manor," the
Now, Aug. 16.

I was a client at Cornerstone Manor. I had chosen to make it my
residence on Sept. 5, 2005. I do believe that if Cornerstone wasn't
there at that time I may still be struggling as a drug addict. The
recovery home gave me a safe place to live and taught me a lot about
what I need to change in my life to become a productive member of society.

On the other hand, I believe Cornerstone doesn't provide a safe and
reliable environment most of the time. There were times of my stay at
this particular recovery home where we were not supplied with basic
needs, for example, toilet paper, milk, miscellaneous groceries and so
on. There were times where some clients had to collect bottles and
cans to scrape up enough money to get some of these items.

The homes were not in condition to be lived in as well. For example,
there was mould in the walls of one of the women's homes that would
make clients ill. The matter was brought up with the landlord and the
owner of Cornerstone was to fix the problem in return for less rent.
The walls were not fixed and clients were forced to live in those
rooms. For the first six months of my stay, we were told not to turn
on the dining room light for it was a fire hazard, since the roof was
leaking. The issue was finally fixed when the landlord was informed.
There were plenty of fire extinguishers throughout the homes, but the
majority of them were not inspected and had passed the noted expiry

There was more than one occasion when we, as clients, received rotting
fruits and vegetables, and mouldy bread.

I do believe recovery homes give people like me a chance to start a
new life without drugs and alcohol, but I also believe recovery homes
should meet a standard level of service. I believe if there is nothing
done to keep recovery homes accountable to a certain level of service,
then there will always be recovery homes like Cornerstone Manor that
profit from people with no other options and take advantage of their
state of mind.

I do wish good things for all the addicts in residence at Cornerstone
Manor, and I pray they realize that they are worth living in a home
that keeps them safe.

Delia Oliveira

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