Recovering drug user helps Edmonton addiction treatment centre fundraise for renovations

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.

More than 60 people worked out at West Edmonton Mall’s Crunch Fitness Saturday as part of the fundraiser. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

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.

The addiction recovery centre needs kitchen repairs to get rid of black mold and bring the space up to building code. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

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.

Crunch Fitness manager Amber Benoit helped Ariss organize the 24-hour workout marathon. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

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.

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