'I'm not ready to leave': Regina woman being evicted from residential program after months of addiction recovery
REGINA -- A woman who moved into the Raising Hope Moving Families Forward residential program said she has been told she is being evicted and must leave by December 31, despite feeling unprepared to leave.
Fay Munro joined the program in January to assist in her recovery from a crystal meth addiction.
“I only have about nine months clean right now and I know that it takes about three years for your brain to recover from a crystal meth addiction and I was a heavy user for about two years,” Munro said.
She said she turned to drugs after suffering a traumatic brain injury that went undiagnosed for two years, causing her to lose her job, home and family. She said she is being told she’s being evicted, because of how well she is doing in the program.
“My first thought upon them telling me that I had to leave was, ‘well maybe if I go relapse I can stay, so that right there tells me that I’m not ready to leave,’” Fay Munro said.
University of Regina Faculty of Social Work professor Kara Fletcher said in her experience, the person dealing with substance abuse issues know their needs best.
“They have the wisdom of their unique experience and what they find most helpful,” Fletcher said in an email. “There are no defined timelines for someone struggling with crystal meth use on when they will find themselves doing better and I can only imagine that losing access to housing when there is a desire for continued support would be an immense stressor.”
Residents with Raising Hope pay their own rent, and receive addictions services along with a place to stay. The program is ran by the Street Workers’ Advocacy Project (SWAP) Regina.
Munro said the real reason why she thinks she is being evicted is because she spoke up about issues with the quality of the services available.
“I feel like they don’t really know how to work with women with addictions. They’re really condescending toward us and it feels more like an institution than anything now,” Munro said.
Munro said SWAP workers will often drive residents to appointments, but won’t drive her anymore. Munro said her access to the daycare provided is often restricted.
“If they say I can use, I can use it, and then if they decide that I can’t, then whatever I can’t. So it’s kind of hit and miss, it’s not consistent, so I put her into a different day care system,” Munro said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the costs Munro is facing.
“Your basics, which is food and a roof over her head, and this will at least give her some kind of a start, and then we’ll see where it goes from there,” GoFundMe page creator Cindy Oberthier said.
Munro’s addictions counsellor said in a letter on October 29, 2020, that “addiction needs time to integrate mental systems to heal.”
A letter from Munro’s doctor explains Munro does not feel ready to be discharged and agrees “that she requires counselling and supports to help her with her anxiety and substance use disorder.”
“Our understanding is the Street Workers’ Advocacy Project’s board of directors and leadership team are aware of the concerns, and are reviewing them thoroughly to determine what improvements are required to strengthen program delivery. The Ministry will continue to meet with the board and leadership to support these efforts.” the Ministry of Social Services said in a statement.
CTV News reached out to SWAP multiple times for comment, but did not receive a response.