New Brunswick

Moncton non-profit to turn farm into addiction rehab centre

A Moncton non-profit plans to start a tiny home community on a farm to help people with addictions and mental health challenges.

The Humanity Project has purchased a farm on 160 acres of land in Little River near Salisbury

Charlie Burrell shows off the farm in Little River. (The Humanity Project/Facebook)

A Moncton non-profit plans to start a tiny home community on a farm to help people with addictions and mental health challenges. 

The Humanity Project , a non-profit that provides meals for people struggling to get by, has purchased a farm on 160 acres in Little River, near Salisbury.

"It's going to be one of the nicest farms you've ever seen," said Charlie Burrell, founder of the Humanity Project.

Burrell plans to set up a full rehabilitation retreat with mental health and addiction support services on the farm. 

Burrell told Information Morning Moncton that the problem with most rehab centres is once people are done with the program, they join the same community as before and are once again around people who they used drugs with.

He envisions a farm property that also includes a number of tiny homes, where the people undergoing treatment can live away from a life of drug use.

"Rehabilitation is only the first part. The second part is sitting a person down and figuring out what their goals are, what they want to do with their lives to be successful," said Burrell.

Charlie Burrell is the founder of the Humanity Project. 8:57

"The payoff is a better community for all of us."

Burrell said the organization will also grow food on the farm, and that food will be used to help feed people through the Humanity Project's meal program.  

Burrell said the farm will give people a place to stay as they recover from addiction. (The Humanity Project/Facebook)

The idea is based on similar projects in Europe.  The 160-acre farm has five buildings on it now, with a river running through it. 

Burrell said the property needs to be cleaned. Trees need to be removed, and greenhouses and gardens need to be built. 

"It's going to take a lot of work … the property needs to basically be redone so it's a working farm again," said Burrell. 

The organization is trying to raise $500,000 to get the property ready, and Burrell is counting on donations to make that happen. 

The Humanity Project operated an emergency shelter all winter with the help of volunteers, but could only commit to four months and closed the shelter April 1. The non-profit continues to offer a free meal every evening to people who are struggling. (Pierre Fournier/CBC)

The Humanity Project operated an emergency shelter all winter with the help of volunteers, but after four months closed the shelter. The people involved could only commit to operating the shelter until April 1.

The non-profit continues to offer a free meal every evening to people who are struggling.

"It's going to take time to grow and it's going to take time to make it successful but we're willing to put in the work," said Burrell.

With files from Information Morning Moncton

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