From left to right

Newton’s drug recovery centre officially opens

Deepak Chopra among the notables at the official opening of Welcome Home on Friday morning

A major drug and alcohol recovery facility has officially opened in Newton with much fanfare.

On Friday, the $80-million John Volken Academy celebrated its official opening in the midst of local politicians and renowned Indian author and public speaker Deepak Chopra.

The Newton facility houses 40 men and women who are suffering from alcoholism and addiction and are committed to spending two years at the facility.

The organization boasts a plan to teach people how to become functioning members of society as they recover from addiction.

The facility is the brainchild of John Volken, who started a furniture chain called United Furniture Warehouse in 1980, and by 2001 had a company with $200 million in annual revenues.

Volken sold that and began his dream of philanthropy called Welcome Home.

He started with a 20-bed facility in Seattle and two small homes in Surrey.

Welcome Home has not always been so welcome at its 6869 King George Blvd. location.

Liz Walker, of the Newton Community Association, has said for years that the facility is poorly located.

She hasn’t changed her mind about that.

“I would have liked to have seen Welcome Home in an area that wasn’t so inundated with social services,” Walker said Thursday.

Volken, who is a recent recipient of the Dalai Lama’s Humanitarian Award, said he prefers getting his hands dirty rather than just giving money to causes.

It’s what fundraisers call “venture philanthropy,” a growing trend among business executives to exercise greater control over how their money is spent.

Volken also gets an emotional boost out of doing the work.

“I enjoy watching the progress,” Volken told The Leader when he was just getting started. “It’s not a sacrifice to me, I thank the heavenly God every day for the privilege of doing it.”

 

Just Posted

Surrey restaurant owner who pointed handgun at staff loses court appeal

Jawahar Singh Padda tried to get his 30-month sentenced reduced

Surrey cold-case murder is Crime Stoppers’ ‘Crime of the week’

Police have yet to arrest a suspect in the April 24, 2011 murder of Devon Allaire-Bell, 19, in Newton

Surrey’s ready for winter with 17,000 tonnes of salt, online snow plow tracker

A sidewalk-clearing pilot project is continuing in City Centre this year

LETTER: Oppal should delay Surrey’s policing plan until we can vote in new mayor

In case of transition plan, red tape and bureaucracy might actually save Surrey’s skin

TransLink to discuss proposed bus-route changes at White Rock forum

“It is important that the opinions of riders are heard,” says mayor

Fashion Fridays: 5 things to remove from your closet

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read