Little House Society COO and director of counselling Debbi McKenzie. (Submitted photo)

Little House Society COO and director of counselling Debbi McKenzie. (Submitted photo)

Delta invited to ‘paint a little house at Little House’

Community art project to celebrate merger of Tsawwassen’s Little House Society and Phoenix Society

Delta residents are invited to “paint a little house at Little House” as part of a community celebration in Tsawwassen.

On Friday, Nov. 19, Surrey-based Phoenix Society is hosting a free community event at Little House Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Society’s Tsawwassen home (5061 12th Avenue) to celebrate the merger of the two non-profits earlier this year.

From noon until 5 p.m., guests will be able to enjoy a complimentary meal served from the Phoenix Flame BBQ food truck and paint wooden “Little House” cut-outs that will in turn be used to create a community art installation.

“We hope you’ll join us as we create a lasting art installation in the community,” Little House Society COO and director of counselling Debbi McKenzie said in a press release.

The merger of Little House and Phoenix Society was announced back in May and came about after a joint recognition that the organizations’ values aligned and that together the organizations could provide enhanced support to more individuals and families struggling with substance use.

“This all came together in a really organic way,” Phoenix Society CEO Keir Macdonald said in a press release announcing the merger.

Phoenix Society had been working with Little House over the past two years to help strengthen its bed-based substance use programs in two keys areas: family services and continuing care.

“Little House had some really amazing programs and it just made sense for us to partner rather than re-create something and things just grew from there,” Macdonald said.

Little House Society has been a welcoming space for group recovery meetings for more than 30 years and offers a variety of community-based supports including individual therapy, family supports, boundaries workshops, group meetings, and an ongoing self-management and recovery training group utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy.

The organization operates out of an 1,800 square foot, fully accessible house in Tsawwassen that includes a comfortable counselling office and two meeting rooms that accommodate recovery group meetings, workshops and educational sessions.

Two years ago, Little House began running a family program for loved ones of those in Phoenix Society’s residential treatment programs, offering a four-hour education workshop.

“Our organizations have such common values and interests and that was apparent early on for me. This merger is a perfect fit — a match made in heaven,” McKenzie said in a press release announcing the merger.

“My passion and my dream has always been to work at a treatment centre and bring family programs in. That’s what’s so wonderful about this fit; Phoenix’s values align so well,” McKenzie added. “We hope to have a wider reach and connect with more people in the community as a result of the merger with Phoenix Society. Right now, we’re literally just a ‘little house.’”

McKenzie noted that for every person struggling with their substance use, 10 to 20 people around them are impacted.

“We know that if someone goes to treatment but returns to a family that has not done their healing, there is a 40 per cent chance of relapsing. Together, we can support more families to learn how to support their loved one in recovery. Too many families are suffering in silence right now.”

Formed in 1989, Phoenix Society offers a variety of programs and support services. A key purpose of the society is to provide housing and support services for people at multiple entry points on the continuum. Phoenix Society develops community-based projects that meet people where they are at, helping participants exit the cycle of addiction and homelessness.