A fundraising program geared to aid teens fighting drug addictions has raised $2.25 million for the construction of an Ottawa residential treatment facility for English-speaking teens.
Ottawa Police chief Vern White said Tuesday that Project STEP (Support, Treatment, Education and Prevention) reached its fundraising goal to support a 30-bed facility at the site of the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre's West Carleton site, slated to be running by 2014.
The Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre currently has about 24 beds across several locations.
STEP had previously raised $750,000 for a five-bed facility for francophone youth at the Vanier-based Maison Fraternité, slated to open in May 2012.
White says program is his greatest accomplishment
White, who is stepping down as police chief in February after he was appointed last week to the Senate, said it was his greatestest accomplishment in 30 years of policing.
"The proudest moment I've ever been involved in is to build two drug-treatment centres in this city and to roll out a school-based program in every school in the city, more than twice as many as there were in 2008," said White.
"Sounds a bit strange to hear a cop say that but to be part of this successful project is humbling at times to make such a great difference for such a great number of people," he said.