A centre that helps people deal with drug and alcohol addictions in Thunder Bay will have a new home.

City councillors approved a zoning change for the former Oliver Road school Monday night. The move paves the way for the The Crossroads Centre to house 40 recovering addicts.

The centre’s 28 beds — currently located at the former Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital on the city's north side — aren't meeting the demand for addictions treatment. Due to space and security issues at the LPH, the centre didn’t have room to grow.

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Crossroads Centre executive director Kathy Sanderson said the former Oliver Road school property will be landscaped and regreened to become more residential in appearance. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

The executive director of Crossroads said that, during the decades the centre operated on Lillie Street, there were no issues being located near a residential area.

Kathy Sanderson assured council that clients "will not be wandering around the neighbourhood."

"We consider them to be our responsibility until they are somewhere safe. We would like to reassure the neighbourhood that our clients do not present a risk," she said.

Councillor Ken Boshcoff supported the re-zoning. 

"It actually is refreshing for us to get some kind of knowledge that the neighbours — the neighbourhood — is going to be protected and that the new occupant is approaching this with an attitude that they want to be part of that neighbourhood," Boshcoff said.

Sanderson said the property will be landscaped to blend into the area.

"We want our clients and our facility to be part of a neighbourhood that supports healthy living," she said.

Council did receive letters opposing the re-zoning, but nobody came forward to speak against the project at Monday night's meeting.