Founder defends facility against critics who say it didn’t live up to its billing – As foreclosure looms at a recovery farm for people with addictions and no place to live, supporters held a community meeting Tuesday to discuss ways to save or replace it.

Last month the society that operates Woodwynn Farms told the farm to shut down after the philanthropists who hold a $5.3-million mortgage on the property withdrew their support.

Meeting organizer Rob Reid, a former chair of the Woodwynn board of directors, said it’s understandable the original funders of the project would want their investment returned after the last hopes faded to house up to 96 residents in recovery there.

“We still have to fight on,” Reid told On the Island host Gregor Craigie. He said he’s written several B.C. government ministries and received positive comments about the program from B.C. Housing.

“I really think [departments of] mental health and addictions, B.C. Housing and agriculture need to all sit down and say ‘Wow, a therapeutic farm … why not?’ ” Reid said.

The historic 193-acre Woodwynn Farms property began operating as a therapeutic community in 2009 after founder Richard LeBlanc gained widespread public support and private financing for his vision of a program modelled on the San Patrignano community in Italy.

Read full article here.

CBC News – Feb 27, 2018.


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