Following a church service at Victoria United Church in 2006, Jeff Bourne, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, approached the pastor and challenged him to not only talk about addiction related issues, but to do something about them. This challenge led to a partnership and a commitment between Jeff and his pastor, Jesse Bown, to explore what could be done in the Trinity-Conception area in the face of a growing drug problem. It was soon realized that a missing piece in the healing process was a place to provide support to the addicted and their families while on their path to recovery. To have such a facility operating in Trinity-Conception was Jeff’s dream from the outset.
It was during this time that the Rev. Dr. Curt Clarke, the director of pastoral care and ethics in rural Avalon, became involved in the process. It was through Curt’s desire to see this project succeed and his ability to connect other people to the dream, that the Community Awareness Addiction Group (CAAG) was formed. CAAG had a number of members with representation from the areas of addiction, mental health, criminal justice, clergy, recovering addicts, community members, social work and research. Through the CAAG’s efforts and with the continued support over the past six years from the Hon. Jerome Kennedy, a proposal was accepted by his office in 2011 to grant funding to open the U-Turn Drop-In Centre. Today, U-Turn is an active, thriving centre where hope, recovery and healing are found.