It’s not often that a bathroom or sauna can help change a life, but for the women at Chrysalis Society’s New Dawn house, that is exactly the case.
“When I saw the sauna I was ecstatic,” says Kaylee. “Just to get a moment of peace helps me get back into myself and get back on pointe. I also use the soaker tub for bubble baths, which is huge because no other recovery houses provide that. It’s a real gift.”
Kaylee is recovering from an alcohol addiction and has found the sauna useful in her recovery. She uses the sauna three to four times a week to find a place of peace, reflect on her progress and sometimes even read a book.
The women who come to New Dawn house are looking for a place of respite where they can focus on recovering from addiction. Central City Foundation donors have helped women like Kaylee in their healing by funding the renovations of two bathrooms and the purchase of an infrared sauna, which provides deep detoxification and other vital health benefits.
Helping women live healthy lives is integral to Central City Foundation and many of our community partners, such as Vancouver Women’s Health Collective, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, focus on improving the health of inner city women.
There are many barriers for women to access proper addiction treatments, especially for those with concurrent health issues. Chrysalis Society has helped women since 1987 work through those barriers so they can get the support they need in a safe and homelike environment.
Many of the women at New Dawn have exhausted all other avenues for grappling with their addictions and need the round the clock care and safe environment New Dawn provides.
>New Dawn sees approximately 75 women per year and is the first stage in the women’s recovery program. Once the women have completed the addiction recovery program at New Dawn, they move on to the second stage with more independent living.
Shannon Skilton, executive director of Chrysalis Society, says living in a beautiful and clean environment helps women feel better about themselves, which in turn promotes better health. The newly renovated bathrooms with a deep soaker tub and modern fixtures have made a noticeable impact on New Dawn residents.
“The women are excited when they walk in and see the beautiful bathrooms,” says Skilton. “The sauna and the big tub where they can take an epsom salt bath gives women an alternative to taking a pill for pain management.”
Chrysalis Society takes a holistic approach to recovery and infrared saunas have proven to reduce the side effects of detoxing, including restless legs and body aches. It also provides a relaxing space for women to reflect and sweat out their anxieties.
>The journey to recovery is different for each individual, but through providing alternative therapy options and a beautiful environment, Central City Foundation donors, along with Chrysalis Society, are helping women find their way to a healthy life.
“Women have experienced positive outcomes because of the infrared sauna and the beautiful bathrooms,” says Skilton. “We’re just over the moon that we’re able to provide this.”