Winnipeg is getting ready to welcome a brand-new haven of hope for women seeking recovery from addiction. The Anne Oake Family Recovery Centre — Named in honour of Anne, who died in September 2021 — is exclusively dedicated to women in need of support. This marks a major expansion of the mission that Scott and Anne Oake started.
The Oakes started their journey with a men's-only addiction treatment center in memory of their late son, Bruce, who lost his battle with drug addiction in 2011. The success of the Bruce Oake Centre led the way to creating a recovery centre exclusively for women battling addiction.
"We've had the intention from the beginning when Anne, Scott and Darcy first lost Bruce they wanted to provide a solution for those struggling with addiction in Manitoba for any gender. We've been quietly working in the background and making plans for what it could look like to support women," said Greg Kyllo, Executive Director of Bruce Oak Recovery Centre.
The Anne Oake Family Recovery Centre will offer long-term residential treatment, with childcare services to support mothers seeking help. The recovery centre acknowledges the specific challenges faced by mothers who might be hesitant to enter residential programs due to concerns about losing custody of their children.
"It will be first and foremost about supporting the entire family. How can you support yourself and do the work that's required when your struggling with an addiction when your also supporting children? It will be a key part of the programming that will be incorporated and will not be a barrier for those to receive help and support," said Kyllo.
To maintain a safe and supportive environment, the Anne Oake Centre will be located separately from the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre to avoid mixing male and female residents during their vulnerable recovery phases. Similar to the Bruce Oake Centre, the Anne Oake Family Centre will offer recovery services free of charge to those unable to afford them, ensuring that no one is turned away.
Kyllo went on to say that securing financial support from the Manitoba government will be important for making the Anne Oake Centre a reality, and fundraising efforts are set to kick off after the upcoming provincial election.
Scott Oake, the driving force behind these initiatives, has seen the positive impact of the Bruce Oake Centre, with over half of its graduates remaining sober for more than a year.