A new community housing project was inaugurated on Monday, part of a program aimed at helping recovering addicts stay clean after completing stints in rehab.

The new building, which is operating by drug addiction rehabilitation group Portage, is the second of its kind in Montreal’s Southwest borough.

Containing 30 units, it allows residents to live together as a community with on-site support from live-in staff. The idea, said Portage spokesperson Seychelle Harding, is to cut down on temptations to avoid relapses that frequently happen soon after a rehab program is completed.

“We really find that this makes a big difference,” she said. It’s one thing to do therapy in a closed and supervised environment for six months. The struggle starts when you get out – you meet people and try to live your daily life without drugs and alcohol. By having this environment, it really helps people stay focused on their goals. We’ve seen a big difference and we’re very happy to have 30 new apartments in this beautiful building to offer to people.”

The new facility cost $6.5 million, with $2.5 million of that coming from the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

“When I wake up here, I can’t wait to take on the day,” said 27-year-old Hind Boubdir, whose cozy, simple apartment has become her happy place.

Boubdir had been abusing alcohol and marijuana since she was 12 years old. Last year, she hit her breaking point.

“I would get up in the morning and I wanted to die,” she said.

She discovered Portage and checked herself into a six-month rehab program.

After completing it, she moved into the apartment, with other recovering addicts who she can talk to if she’s struggling.

There are also drug counsellors available if she needs more help.

“There have been times I’ve thought of getting high but I can talk to my friends, the staff, and they’ve helped,” she said.