Pubdate: Fri, 20 Apr 2007
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2007 The StarPhoenix
Author: J. I. Stephens


The Saskatoon Christian School's opposition to building a youth detox 
centre in the neighbourhood has me baffled.

Our province and community recognize the need to focus on recovery 
from addiction for our children and our neighbours' children -- 
addictions do not discriminate.

My understanding of active Christian living is to love our neighbours 
as ourselves. Jesus reached out especially to the broken, 
marginalized, ostracized and those in need of support and help. I 
would expect the school to extend offers of prayers and welcome, and 
ongoing acts of kindness and assistance to those at the detox centre.

Parents may be afraid their children are vulnerable and should not be 
exposed. But what an opportunity it is for these children and the 
adults in charge of their growth to learn about addiction, of true 
commitment, hope and caring.

To respond in fear speaks of a lack of faith and a "not in my back 
yard" mentality. Christianity is not just for the privileged and protected.

Just as I trust that the Saskatoon Christian School provides 
appropriate adult supervision to its students, it can trust that the 
detox centre will provide professional safeguards to its clients, 
such as adequate supervision, drug screens, selective visitor lists 
and safely guarded rules.

This recovery center must have adequate programming and staffing so 
that its clients and the community are kept safe. Certainly, this is 
not where drug dealers will go to look for customers, just as the 
current facility, the Calder Center, does not create a risk for that 

There is no doubt that this center is needed in our community, and I 
earnestly hope that our community will offer many ways to display 
respect and support.

J. I. Stephens

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MAP posted-by: Elaine