About our Therapeutic Community
Our therapeutic community offers those struggling with homelessness, addictions or mental illness a home, healthcare, legal assistance, an opportunity to learn skills, change their lives and regain the confidence needed by to enter back into society as productive, comfortable, healthy contributors.
Woodwynn Farm Community, located in Central Saanich, is a short distance from Victoria, with 193 acres of productive farmland, local produce can be local.
The Woodwynn Farm Community program will admit 12 at a time with the maximum on the farm at 96 people.
That would translate to over 500 lives changed over the course of ten years.
The concept of the Therapeutic Community (TC) is based on the model of a therapeutic community in Italy, San Patrignano.
Homeless and other “marginalized” individuals have an opportunity to re-build their lives within a structured long term (3-5 years) residential program.
The rural farm environment provides a combination of fresh air, hard manual work and daily routines that transforms the “whole person” and develops confidence, a positive value system and a career plan to help ensure personal and employment stability throughout their life.
The community facilitates behaviour change, attitudes and values of right living.
Work is integral to the recovery process, not separate.
This holistic approach encompasses all areas of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of the person.
This is also an abstinence program: no drugs or alcohol.
Therapeutic farm communities will develop and operate a number of businesses providing skilled labour.
These businesses may include dog/cat kennels, stables, livestock (chickens, etc.), organic farming (greenhouses, seed production), landscape design and maintenance, food services, mechanical and carpentry skills, and community gardens.
Professional training will be provided and participants will be involved in every aspect of the company; from the implementation of the business plan to financial management and marketing.
The target group are the homeless individuals who want to change their lives, the reachable and teachable (as identified by other existing programs).
They comprise approximately 50% of the homeless.
Leblanc’s dream is to apply the TWC model to help the hundreds of people who now call the streets of Victoria “home”…
San Patrignano Community
In the 1970s, Vincenzo Muccioli began approaching addicts in the popular seaside resort of Rimini in an effort to try to understand and help young people on drugs. By 1978, he had started to work with these addicts at his San Patrignano estate, establishing what has grown to become home to 1,800 people, the largest therapeutic work community in the world.
Now, over 300 paid educators, most of them recovered drug addicts, and 140 volunteers are responsible for a community that welcomes 700 new residents each year. These addicts receive extensive medical and dental care, legal services, dozens of training opportunities and mandatory educational upgrading, all for free. The community operates on a mandate of self-sufficiency. Corporate partners and public donations provide half of the money needed to maintain San Patrignano; the production and sale of a variety of products,including gourmet food and world-class wines, accounts for the rest of the annual operating revenue.
In 30 years, San Patrignano has helped more than 20,000 people.
Follow-up research indicates more than 70 per cent are still drug-free, years after being part of the therapeutic work community.
Of those who complete the program, 71 per cent end up working in the field for which they received training. The relapse rate of those who have taken the program is just eight per cent.
Visit the San Patrignano website
Providence Farm Duncan, BC
We are a therapeutic community that provides programs for people who are encountering barriers to education and employment. We are a working organic farm dedicated to restoring the spirit and skills of those with physical, mental and emotional challenges. Our farm provides innovative programs in Horticultural Therapy and vocational training.
The Sisters of St. Ann own the beautiful 400-acre property that lies at the base of Mount Tzouhalem in the Cowichan Valley of Vancouver Island. Since 1979, the Vancouver Island Providence Community Association has leased the farm and developed innovative programs for the community.
Take a deep breath and you’ll find the air is healthy; the work, worthy; the place, happy. Visit Providence Farm website for more information.
The Globe and Mail recently ran a brilliant article entitled “Crushing Addiction” (November 12.
It outlines the highly successful therapeutic work community in San Patrignano, Italy who have had an amazing 20,000 people graduate from their program.