Cole Izsak opened his first women’s recovery centre Sept. 1.
Robin’s Nest, located in Cloverdale’s Campbell Heights area, faced a few challenges over the first three months it’s been open, but Izsak said things are now going well.
“I am very proud of our beautiful facility, the lovely ladies who are residing here, all seeking a better life through recovery, and I want to share all of it with the citizens of Cloverdale and Surrey,” said Izsak. “I would like to make the community aware that we are here.”
Izsak has been running men’s recovery homes in Surrey for nine years. Izsak estimates around 1,500 men have benefited from the services of his Back on Track facility, which includes the four-house ‘Fortress’ at 9889 140 St.
“I’ve always been aware that there’s a real need for women’s facilities. There’s not very many of them.”
Izsak said he was hesitant at first about opening up a women’s facility because his familiarity is with men’s homes. He went through recovery himself, 10 years ago, so he’s very familiar with what it takes to make a men’s recovery house work.
“It’s been quite the learning curve (at Robin’s Nest),” Izsak said. “I’ve been wanting to open a women’s facility for all those years. There’s really very few treatment centres for women to go to. It’s widely known that there’s probably 15 supportive treatment centres for men to every one place for women.”
He said the first couple of months were tough as he tried to transform his male-focused program into one that was more suited to women, one he says would “fit” with their needs.
“Women are not as inclined to establish a camaraderie with each other in the house as quickly as men do,” said Izsak.
He said there was a lot of turnover at Robin’s Nest in the first month and half it was open. But Izsak’s methods for help require the folks in the homes to establish a camaraderie with each other, that way they can work together and support each other as they work toward their self-recovery goals.
“I felt badly over the years,” he explained. “I had a lot of women call me and ask me if we had women’s houses. Having to say no over and over, it was a bummer for me. I didn’t like that.”
He said he’s pleased with how the centre has grown in the three short months its been open.
“We’ve worked out a lot of the glitches. Our systems are in place. Our programs are in place. We’ve got a core group of women here now that, when we do get a new client, the women keep things on track, if you will.”
He feels like he’s grown over the last three months alongside the women in Robin’s Nest.
“I’m learning about women and what takes them into their addiction,” he explained. “I’ve noticed, for the women here, in a lot of cases, they’re seeking validation for their lives in other things rather than recognizing their own self worth.”
Izsak said the number one thing he tries to impart to the women when they arrive at Robin’s Nest is to hold their sense of self-worth above all else.
“I really want these women to focus on themselves. And their families. And getting healthy. And finding clarity. And I’m trying to encourage them to do that. We’re making progress.”
With time, Iszak said that self-worth will come to the surface.
“They are worth it. They can fight their temptations to use, find clarity, and feel good about themselves while they’re here,” he said. “Then they can leave here someday and go out and become productive members of society. That’s our goal.”
For more information, visit backontrackcanada.com and click on “Robin’s Nest.”
Izsak said the facility operates on money from the government and donations. He said if anyone wants to donate to help Robin’s Nest, they can visit his website, for call 778-316-2625.
— with files from Tracy Holmes.