Our Story

We Help Women Recover

Westminster House provides affordable addiction recovery and treatment programs for youth girls and women healing from addiction. The programs have a proven success rate and an excellent reputation of supporting clients to permanently exit addiction, returning to their families, workplace and their lives.

The Ultimate Goal for Westminster House Clients:

  • Recovery from drugs and alcohol

  • Improved overall physical and mental health

  • Improved family and social relationships

  • Access to educational and employment opportunities

Strategic Objective


Westminster House Society’s strategic objective is to help she/her/they recover from addiction.  We do this by providing a communitybased social model recovery program in a safe and supportive environment, based on the principles of the 12 steps

Mission, Vision, Values

Our symbol of hope: an acorn has to hit the ground hard in order to break open, grow, and reveal the strong oak within.


Women do recover; the journey starts here.


Westminster House Society is committed to addiction recovery for she/her/they through a continuum of programs and services for individuals, families, and organizations. Our supportive community is a safe place to start a recovery journey while learning to become productive members of society.


Inclusive: Provide non-discriminatory treatment

Consistent: Clients know what to expect

Respectful: Everyone has a unique past and journey to recovery

Inspirational: Our personal recovery stories motivate others

Leadership: Our staff acts in a way that encourages others


  • Women do recover

  • Recovery is a lifelong process

  • The 12-Step program offers the best post-treatment recovery

  • Clients benefit from a supportive, home-like therapeutic milieu

  • Clients benefit from competent staff who are knowledgeable about addiction

Economic Responsibility

  • We prepare five meatless meals per week

  • No plastic water bottles are used in the facility

  • The 12-Step program offers the best post-treatment recovery

  • We have a full recycling and waste management program

Our History

 Westminster House Society is a charitable Non-Profit Society, Incorporated in British Columbia and is the parent organization under which Westminster House and all its programs operate. Founded in 1981 as the Julien House Society, the organization was named in honour of the highly respected BC-resident Dr. Walter Julien, a well-known dentist and member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

The Society was created by a group of caring and compassionate members from the local AA community as well as concerned local business people. After a few years of looking for the best way to make a difference, they settled on the need for a safe house to be established for women recovering from alcoholism.

In 1985 the Society leased a temporary home in New Westminster, BC and Westminster House opened its doors as a ‘sober house’ for women. Eventually, the program grew, and a permanent house was purchased through a Human Resources Development Canada grant.

As Westminster House grew in size and reputation, it continued to offer women in search of abstinence from alcohol and drugs a more formalized, holistic approach to recovery.

In 2015, Westminster House officially changed it’s name to Westminster House Society. Today the program offers a wide range of services for women and their families.

Westminster House Program now offers a full continuum of care and includes Primary and Second Stage Care: daily group therapy, written work, educational sessions, life skills, wellness and individual counseling and Transitional Living and On-Going Recovery.


After completion of their program at Westminster House, clients are encouraged to become alumni. They can then volunteer, join event committees, and share their experience with new women who are entering the recovery program and “give back”. The centre is a permanent sanctuary where alumni are welcome any time.

Alumni Testimonials

Alumni Spotlight – Sarah M

Alumni Spotlight – Sarah M

On August 24, 2017, I woke up at Westminster House. I had been on a week-long relapse that caused more damage and ...
Alumni Spotlight – Lynn H

Alumni Spotlight – Lynn H

I consider going to Westminster House a life-changing event. Before entering Westminster House, my life was at ...
Alumni Spotlight – Jen M.

Alumni Spotlight – Jen M.

The months leading up to me going to Westminster House were some of the worst of my life. My world was the ...

The Social Model Program

Our Social Model addiction recovery program teaches that while we think as individuals, we succeed together. Community interaction and personal experiences are the tools we use to help others. Recovery is an individual choice and an ongoing process that is demonstrated, measured and strengthened by community involvement.
Our Social Model, an addiction recovery program, teaches that while we think individually, we succeed together. Community interaction and personal experiences are the tools we use to help others. Recovery is an individual choice, and an ongoing process demonstrated, measured and strengthened by community involvement.
We emphasize the process of relearning responses to challenges, stresses, and anxieties through ‘‘doing’’ and ‘‘experiencing’’ things in a new way by watching positive role models. Our Social model program is successful because of the effective way we build strong, positive social coping behaviours and social support systems.

Our Social model recovery program configures our human resources, organizational structures, and physical spaces differently than conventional treatment programs. 75% of our staff are people with lived experience and develop and manage the recovery environment, as well as serve as role models, through modeling the behaviour expected of the clients.

The Social Model at Westminster House provides the reintroduction to drug-free social activities within the community. Allowing an opportunity to teach clients how to have fun and to experience life as enjoyable and productive without drug use. Westminster House understands that addiction is the disease of isolation and that making connections is the best medicine and the advantages of the Social Model of Recovery.

New West Recovery

Last Door and Westminster House have been working together for over 35 years and have inadvertently established the largest recovering community in Canada.

What does that mean?

Since 1980 people have been coming to Westminster House and The Last Door for addiction treatment. After completing treatment, these people have stayed in New Westminster and started their new life free from addiction. For over 35 years people living in long-term recovery have made New Westminster their home, creating a strong recovery presence in the community and a support system for our clients.

If you think our program is a fit for you and want more information about admissions click HERE.

For more information on the men’s program click HERE

Or give us a call, the office is open seven days a week from 7 am – 11 pm. There is someone to answer your questions.


Board Of Directors

Scott Emerson


Mr. Emerson’s roles have included senior management positions and directorships. Scott brings a background in finance, business development, strategic planning and corporate restructuring to our team. An active member of the board for 10 years, Scott has been President of the organization since 2011. During this time, he has worked closely with Westminster House to double its client capacity, expand its programs and ensure affordable treatment and a home-like environment is delivered to all clients.

Michelle Mix

Vice President

When families are dealing with a loved one struggling with addiction their lives are filled with chaos and heartache. This is where Michelle’s passions are – reaching out to those families and walking alongside them as they heal.  Michelle has been involved with Westminster House for over 4 years and is an enthusiastic supporter of the Family Group meetings.

Michelle has enjoyed a rewarding career, served on various boards and after a brief “retirement” has joined her husband’s business in the investment & insurance industry.

About being elected to the Board of Directors: “I’ve received so much from Westminster House, I’m grateful to have this opportunity to give back and hope to make a positive impact.”

Mary Broadland


This year Westminster House welcomes back director, Mary Broadland to the board of directors who is an experienced realtor with a background in the marketing and advertising industry. Mary brings her strong professional skills in strategic planning, negotiations, advertising, integrated marketing, client service and management to Westminster House board of directors.

Lisa Hutchings

Secretary / Treasurer

Lisa’s journey with the Westminster House started in 2016 as a client and is now a proud alumnus. Recovery has been the greatest gift she has given to herself, her family and her friends. Lisa has gained so much in life due to the support and knowledge she received at the Westminster House and is honored to give back by being apart of the Board of Directors. Lisa has previous experience as she was a community board member of a neighborhood house. She has worked for the Vancouver School Board since 2006 as a School and Student Support Worker which has taught her to be collaborative, patient, empathetic and attentive.

Joining the Board of Directors at Westminster House

If you are looking for an incredibly rewarding and meaningful way to give back, please contact our nominations committee “here” to inquire about a board position.

Westminster House Board of Directors is a governance board model. Individuals who sit on the board are responsible for overseeing the organization’s activities, but the organization’s day-to-day operations are the Executive Director’s responsibility. Westminster House Board members meet periodically to discuss and vote on the organization’s affairs. We are currently speaking with persons passionate about the Westminster House’s vision and mission to sit on our Board of Directors.

Please note that Westminster House board positions are not paid positions.

To contact our Directors, please e-mail [email protected]

Testimonials and Blog

Marcia’s Story

Marcia’s Story

Marcia lived a dark and troubled life. A young beautiful girl from Edmonton, Alberta who grew up in a healthy ...
Amplifying Recovery Day B.C. in New Westminster

Amplifying Recovery Day B.C. in New Westminster

The city of New Westminster is the home of the 2016 Recovery Day BC Street Festival, hosting the event in the ...
Importance of Treating Trauma

Importance of Treating Trauma

By Tanis Maurice Program Manager Trauma Relief Programs also known as TRP are designed to help individuals ...
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