Rodney Ariss has started the process of overcoming his 10-year-long fentanyl addiction.
The Edmonton man has been a client of Our House Addiction Recovery Centre in the city’s west end for six months.
Thanks to the centre’s programs and services, Ariss said he’s learning how to cope with his addiction.
“It’s been a positive influence for me,” he said.
Now he wants to return the favour by helping the centre fundraise for much-needed kitchen repairs.
Our House staff said black mold needs to be removed from the kitchen, and some areas of the space have to be renovated to meet building code standards.
To help pay for the repairs, Ariss organized a 24-hour workout marathon that started Friday.
More than 60 people worked up a sweat at West Edmonton Mall’s Crunch Fitness, raising more than $10,000 as of Saturday afternoon.
Ariss said consistency is crucial for people recovering from addiction at the Our House centre. Having a kitchen that consistently supplies healthy meals is one of the constants needed by many.
“If we don’t have our facility, there’s 60 guys there that can’t get help,” Ariss said.
Crunch Fitness manager Amber Benoit said gym staff were eager to help Ariss and the centre raise money.
“They believe in healthy lifestyles and no judgment and we do too,” she said.
Our House staff hope to raise $400,000 to pay for the kitchen repairs, and have two other fundraising events planned for this summer.
The first phase of renovations are slated to begin Monday.