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Bill’s Place


Vernon British ColumbiaBill’s Place Review

Bill’s Place is a nine-month residential substance abuse treatment program for men, in Vernon, British Columbia. Operated by the John Howard Society of the North Okanagan and Kootenay Region (JHSNOK), Bill’s Place was founded in 2013. The recovery community includes primary care, extended care and sober living. Bill’s Place was founded to fulfill a much-needed demand in Vernon, as there was only one other residential treatment program, with only nine beds (also operated by JHSNOK). Bill’s Place uses a 12-step approach, and during their stay, residents heal from the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual corrosion caused by addiction.

Accommodations and Food

Bill’s Place accommodates nineteen men, of different ages and in different stages of the program, inside a jade green house with a wooden deck that sits on a pristine lawn. The house includes a spacious fully equipped kitchen, a common area with comfortable couches, a TV and coffee table. There is also a meeting room with a large conference table, chairs, bookcases filled with 12-step literature, and a whiteboard.

The primary care program has three double-occupancy rooms and one triple-occupancy room. Extended care has one single, and two doubles, while sober living has five singles. All of the rooms are homey, and comfortably furnished with large natural wood bunk beds, dressers and lamps. Food is included in the cost, and clients are expected to participate in meal preparation.

Treatment and Staff

Prior to admittance, residents must have completed detox. The program length is nine months, and is broken down into three phases, including primary care, extended care and sober living. The primary care phase of the program is about three months. Treatment includes individual and group therapy, relapse prevention, drug and alcohol education and daily on-site 12-step meetings, which include a Friday speaker meeting.

A typical weekday schedule in the first phase includes wakeup, personal time, chores between 7:15 am and eight am, followed by breakfast, a lecture from nine am to 10:15 am and then group therapy. Clients eat lunch at noon, then participate in an outdoor walk. Between one pm and 3:30 pm, activities fluctuate and include individual therapy or an educational video or a feature film or progress review, or residents’ group where personal stories are shared. Residents have free time between three pm and five pm, followed by an AA meeting, and dinner at six pm. At seven pm, weekday activities include a resident-led Big Book study, an outdoor walk, a local speaker meeting or another structured endeavor. Clients enjoy snacks and more fellowship at 8:30 pm. The curfew is 11 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and 11:30 pm Fridays and Saturdays.

During extended care, clients receive individualized treatment plans. They are still expected to attend group therapy and regular 12-step meetings, but also participate in activities that are tailored to their needs. At this point, residents also look for jobs or attend school. After extended care, clients move into the sober living phase of the program. Requirements during this stage of care include maintaining sobriety, completing the steps and attending a minimum of five weekly 12-step meetings, working or going to school and adhering to a curfew, which is mutually agreed upon.

The staff includes Brad Houghton, the manager of addiction services, who has been in recovery for more than 13 years. Houghton is also a certified interventionist and a social service worker. Also on board is Steve Braun, intake coordinator/case worker, who has more than six years of recovery. Senior residents are part of a house leadership team, which provides peer support to clients in primary care. The 30-day cost for primary care is $2,800, and for sober living the 30-day cost is $960.


On the weekends, residents enjoy outdoor activities, interact with each other, participate in a Saturday super chore, and have visiting hours between one pm and 4:45 pm on Sundays. Once primary care is completed, residents are referred to an employment program.

In Summary

Bill’s Place is a wonderful opportunity for men of all ages to become part of recovery community. There is a strong sense of camaraderie here, and a solid, comprehensive 12-step based program, which fulfills a much-needed demand in this part of British Columbia.

Bill’s Place Location

2504 43 Ave
Vernon, BC V1T 3K9

Bill’s Place Cost

$2,800 (30 days. In some cases, JHSNOK may cover a portion of the costs). Reach Bill’s Place by phone at (250) 542-3555 or by email at [email protected]. Find Bill’s Place at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

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