New detox, sober living facility opens doors in Brandon

A new facility for people to detox and seek treatment for substance abuse in Brandon has taken in its first patients.

Facility named after man who died following battle with alcohol and drugs

The facility has been under construction for two years in Brandon. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

A new facility for people to detox and seek treatment for substance abuse in Brandon has taken in its first patients.

The Joshua Jacks Centre, located in the southwest Manitoba city's downtown, has opened its doors after two years of construction work. 

"It's really exciting," said Stephanie Lockerby, executive director of Brandon's Community Health and Housing Association, following a tour of the site on Thursday.

"It's been a really long stretch. We are really excited to start moving people in and utilizing this space for what it was meant for."

Lockerby said the first two patients moved into the facility this week.

The former two-storey warehouse on 13th St., near Pacific Ave., will house two CHHA programs.

Withdrawal facility 

The ground floor will house the group's six-bed withdrawal facility. Lockerby said it's staffed 24/7 and is available for people who need a safe place to detox and live before entering a residential treatment facility.

The first people moved into the new facility this week. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

"They get the flexibility to let their bodies begin to heal," she said. "They'll spend their time sleeping, eating, just basically allowing their bodies to recover." 

Those staying in the facility get their own private room, bathroom and access to a kitchen and meals. The facility had operated in a temporary space until now.

Lockerby said the aim is to give people the foundation to begin a meaningful recovery process.

"It is very crucial," she said, "Once they are feeling like they are able to enter the treatment process, if that is their choice, they are in a state of mind where they are able to engage with the professionals at their treatment program." 

Sober living facility 

The second floor of the facility will host a new program unique to Brandon, Lockerby said. It will house a sober living facility, where those who have gone through treatment can stay for up to two years to continue their recovery. 

"They have a place where they are completely accepted, where we can help them feel comfortable, where we can help them remove barriers and contribute back to society," Lockerby said.

The nine-suite programs offers people fully-furnished bachelor apartments and access to staff and other supports. She said rent for the suites will be attached to social assistance or rent assist rates. 

Named after local man 

The facility was named after Joshua Jacks Mennie, who died after a battle with alcohol and drug addiction in 2016. 

Mennie's family, like others in Brandon and the surrounding area, have been calling for better addictions treatment services for years. 

His family says he a hard-working man with a great sense of humour who wanted to help others, and they believe the new facility will help preserve his memory. 

Joshua Jacks Mennie was 30 when he died in Dec. 2016. (Submitted by Kathy Mennie)

Lockerby said the facility cost about $1 million to renovate, but will help address what has been a growing need in Brandon. 

"This is a small piece to such a bigger picture," she said. "We are very fortunate, we have so many local advocates in this community and we are all fighting this same fight to help our community move forward." 

On Thursday, the province announced nine new supportive recovery housing beds in Brandon. They will be operated by Youth for Christ. 


Riley Laychuk


Riley Laychuk is a news anchor and reporter for CBC News in Winnipeg. He was previously based at CBC's bureau in Brandon for six years, covering stories focused on rural Manitoba. Share your story ideas, tips and feedback: