Talbot House closure due to director’s departure

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Interim director gave 2 hours’ notice

CBC News

Posted: Mar 7, 2012 2:15 PM AT

Last Updated: Mar 7, 2012 6:20 PM AT

Talbot House says the organization's interim executive director resigned unexpectedly. Talbot House says the organization’s interim executive director resigned unexpectedly. (CBC)

A Cape Breton addiction recovery centre is closing its doors because a newly-hired interim director resigned, the organization said Wednesday.

The Talbot House Recovery Centre in Frenchvale had hired an interim director to replace Rev. Paul Abbass, the organization’s former executive director.

Abbass was asked to step down last month after unspecified allegations were brought against him in his capacity as executive director of the men’s addiction and rehabilitation facility.

John Gainer, a clinical psychologist and chair of the Talbot House board of directors wrote in a statement that the board had developed a plan to continue operations at the facility after Abbass left.

“In recent days, the interim executive director has resigned, rendering the provisional plan unsustainable,” Gainer wrote.

“Balancing the well-being of residents and their recovery needs with possible risk factors were determining considerations by the board to suspend programming and close Talbot House for the foreseeable future.”

Gainer wouldn’t say why the new director resigned.

“On Monday of this week we were informed by the interim executive director that he had decided to resign, that was at 11 o’clock in the morning, and we were informed that he had decided to leave that position within two hours,” he said Wednesday.

Gainer said it was hard telling residents they had to leave.

“They were disappointed. They were saddened. They were angry. They felt betrayed by the system.They felt concerned about each other. They felt concerned about their own recovery,” he said.

Talbot House is a 53-year-old facility that normally has 18 residents who stay for between three and six months while participating in addiction recovery programs.

John Gainer says residents were upset when told they had to leave Talbot House.

John Gainer says residents were upset when told they had to leave Talbot House.

The board said it is working with the Department of Community Services to relocate the current residents to recovery facilities elsewhere in the province.

Some will transition back into their communities if possible, according to Gainer.

A Community Services review is expected to be complete early next month.

Gainer said any decisions about the future of the Talbot House will be made then.

Talbot House received $420,000 from the Department of Community Services last year.

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