After eight months of construction and many more spent fundraising, the Little House in Tsawwassen will open its doors on Monday.
The Little House Society president Jim Stimson is at a loss for words as he ponders what it will mean to him.
"It's just... it's rewarding. It's personally rewarding to know it's about the heart and the soul and the spirit of one's self," he said. "I don't know if this could have been built in another community."
Eight months ago, it was nothing more than a hole in the ground, a dream and a plan. On Monday, the Little House will provide a place for six group support meetings and Stimson said he's already heard from other local groups and businesses that are interested in using the space as well.
Originally a family home, the little white house on 12th Avenue was purchased by Delta in 1979 to serve as a home for programs offered by Delta Mental Health and Richmond Alcohol and Drug Action Team.
In May 1982, it was made available for 12-step meetings and in 2004 The Little House Society was established to oversee the facility.
For 27 years, the house served as a meeting place for recovery and support groups before being destroyed by fire in 2009.
Stimson said the destruction of the house was devastating for many of the people who met there.
"Those people are relieved, they're happy and they're astounded," he said.
In the wake of the fire, The Little House Society set out to not only rebuild but expand, and in 2010 launched a campaign to raise the $250,000 needed to achieve that goal.
Stimson said the response from the community has been astounding.
The society has received in-kind donations from close to 100 local companies and cash from many more businesses and individuals, pushing the group close to its goal. Stimson said the society still has about $25,000 to $30,000 to raise to help pay for more furnishings and to cover the last of the construction costs.
The 1,800-square-foot facility will also be available to the community for use as a multi-purpose space as well as an education facility for the group.
As part of its mission, the society has committed to reduce and prevent the harm associated with substance abuse, and to support the efforts of abstinencebased recovery through the collaboration, education and facilitation with community stakeholders.
Community education about alcohol and drug abuse and addiction is a key part of the society's goals and something it hopes to facilitate through the new house.
For more information about The Little House Society, or to make a donation, call Jim Stimson at 778-887-1828.
Donations can also be made through Delta's parks, recreation and culture department.
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