Narrow is the gate to life

WRITTEN BY JUSTINA DEARDOFF AND KARINA YACEYKO – Published: 24 May 2016, The Calgary Journal

This place is not something you would picture as a treatment centre. At 110 years old, the Victorian-style High River house looks peaceful and inviting as we pull up. Across the street, a bell rings from the neighbouring elementary school. It’s 3:10pm, and our first visit is about to begin.

We are welcomed in without knowing the stories the walls have already seen; stories of life and death, of hope and recovery. It served as a boarding house, a bed and breakfast and even a nurse’s residence at one time. Rooms that now hold the lost and the broken were spaces newborns took their first breath, and the ill or elderly their last.

Today, it’s called Narrow Road Home — and its residents refer to it as a place of healing rather than a treatment centre.

It is here that Kim Engbrecht, founder of Narrow Road Home, and Vicki Hooper, a cognitive behaviour therapist, create specialized treatments for women suffering from drug addictions, alcoholism, self-hate and mental health issues.