Avalon Recovery Society

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5957 West Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6M 3X1, Canada


Avalon Recovery Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women dealing with addictions. Avalon’s first drop in centre was established in Vancouver in 1989 by Helen Burnham,OBC and Virginia Giles OBC, both recovering alcoholics. To meet growing demand Avalon opened a second centre on the North Shore in 1997 and in February 2012 Avalon opened its third centre in the Surrey/ White Rock area. The three centres now host over 120 Twelve Step based support groups each month.

Avalon is unique in that there are no other non-residential, peer support facilities available to women in recovery from addiction in this area, or Canada. Our success comes from peer support and involvement in Twelve Step recovery programs. We provide resource information for alcohol and drug counseling, addiction treatment, social assistance, etc; workshops and seminars on life skills, child care for day time meetings, an extensive lending library, a clothing exchange, computer access, and volunteer opportunities. There is no charge for women to attend Avalon.

Avalon liaises with community health agencies, physicians and others within the community on an ongoing basis. Each month the centres attract more women through referrals from doctors, psychologists, hospitals and outreach efforts. It has become a front-line service provider in the world of women’s recovery from addiction. The disease of addiction does not discriminate. The women at Avalon represent a cross-section of our society and come to us from throughout the Lower Mainland. They are daughters, mothers, wives, sisters, doctors, lawyers, employees and employers, of every race and all ages. In 2012 Avalon received over 29,000 visits from women seeking recovery from addiction.

Avalon does not receive government funding. After 23 years Avalon continues to be a grassroots organization with an annual budget of approximately $500,000. Our funding is raised through donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Avalon employs three full time staff members to coordinate the operation of the centres, a part time Executive Director and administrator. An enthusiastic volunteer Board of Directors ensures Avalon Recovery Society’s unique, warm and safe environments continue to make a difference in the lives of women in recovery, and their families.

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