How it works

Peak House is a voluntary, ten-week, live-in, treatment program for youth ages 13-18 years old (inclusive) experiencing problems with drugs, including alcohol. We are located in a large house in a residential neighbourhood in Vancouver. Our program is a suitable treatment option for youth with the willingness to get back on track with their lives. We welcome clients from all walks of life, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, genders and gender expressions.

Here are the basics of how our program works.

1. Referrals

Peak House accepts referrals from Alcohol & Drug Counsellors in the community. The involvement of the community counsellor is essential — their role is to provide an accurate assessment and referral, participate in treatment planning, provide follow-up counselling and assistance in aftercare planning. The referral package can be downloaded from our website, completely electronically, and faxed or emailed to our Intake and Assessment Counsellor.

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2. Intake Process

Once a referral is accepted and a match in service assessed, our Intake & Assessment Counsellor will contact the young person’s referring counsellor to estimate an approximate intake date and arrange to speak with the youth directly. During this conversation we will set up a pre-intake interview either in person or over the phone. The pre-intake interview is a chance for you to get more information about the program and for us to get to know more about you before you come in.

3. Costs

Peak House is free for British Columbia youth; it is funded through a contract with Vancouver Coastal Health. However, the following costs are to be paid by the to be caregiver/guardian prior to intake:

$100 Allowance ($10 per week for 10 weeks)
$100 Damage Deposit
$200 Total (provided by the caregiver/guardian)

The damage deposit is refundable in full if not used.

No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. If finances are an issue, please discuss this with our Intake and Assessment Counsellor.

4. Assessment & Orientation

During the first two weeks in the program, the Intake and Assessment Counsellor works closely with youth to help orient them and assess treatment readiness. During this time staff and residents collaborate to determine program suitability and willingness to participate in the remaining eight weeks of the program. After the assessment phase, a therapeutic plan is developed to outline treatment goals and a welcoming ceremony is held.

5. Treatment

After the first two weeks, if you and our staff decide that youth are ready to enter the treatment portion of the program, they will move into the treatment phase. Clients will set daily and weekly goals, track their accomplishments, have individual sessions with a Clinical Counsellor, and participate in group work and activities.

The program balances therapeutic work with fun activities and exercise. Many past residents have commented that while at Peak House, they re-learned how much fun they can have without drugs and alcohol. Peak House’s program is pretty structured — our schedule includes individual and group counselling, education, fitness, holistic wellness practices, arts and music, guest speakers, and community outings.

6. Education

Our school program is run by a full-time resource teacher employed by the Vancouver Board of Education. The teacher supports clients to develop their own plan for their education while at Peak House and provide opportunities to re-engage in school and learning through a variety of activities that develop positive personal, social, and cultural awareness through art. The youth attend school four mornings a week for two hours and on the fifth day, there is an afternoon art class which is typically a field trip.

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7. Family & Community Cooperation

Research and experience have shown time and again that treating youth without regard to their family and community environment is ineffective.

Youth require and deserve a safe and supportive environment once they leave the program. Community supports and access to service providers that will support clients from initial assessment, through treatment and into aftercare are a vital piece of the community of care. There must also be a family member, foster parent or social worker willing to support the youth’s progress in our program and be available for support.

8. Aftercare

The last three weeks at Peak House are dedicated to aftercare planning, ideally including family and professional supports to help facilitate a safe transition back into the young person’s community.

Once clients leave Peak House, they are encouraged to return for four aftercare therapy sessions. These sessions can be individual or family sessions. In addition, staff are available for phone support. Our staff-led group meets monthly to continue support and build sober community ties with former Peak House residents. As well, former Peak House residents are invited to come back to speak to current residents about their experiences of remaining substance free.

Still have questions? We encourage you to explore our website. You will find images of the house, experiences from past residents, information about coming to Peak House, resources, and more. Visit our FAQ »