The ARCHES Indigenous Recovery Coach Program is a recovery-oriented, community-based and culturally informed program designed to support individuals while in recovery. This program is for individuals who are working on recovery from opioid substance misuse, are FNMI (First Nations, Metis or Inuit), are 18 years of age or older, and have started or restarted OAT (Methadone or Suboxone).

The program offers:

  • Recovery plans designed around the participants needs
  • A strength-based harm reduction approach to support
  • A focus on developing resources that support the participants’ recovery
  • Opportunities to create or recreate links to traditional Indigenous wellness activities
  • Connect to Indigenous elders
  • Transition navigator services to connect participants to resources
  • Community wellness supports to participants (emotional, motivational, instrumental and community referral support)

The Recovery Coaches focus on helping participants apply their newly acquired recovery skills in their living environment and help them resolve any issues or problems that can impact their recovery. Recovery Coaches also help participants stay engaged through their continuum of recovery, using techniques such as Motivational Interviewing and behavioural intervention practices. An Indigenous Recovery Coach functions the same as any other Recovery Coach, however, they approach this process from an Indigenous cultural lens.

Individuals can be referred to our program from community supports that they are connected to, or self-referral can be made. Participants will then meet with our team and we can discuss the next steps. If participants are not already on Methadone or Suboxone, we will help you to connect with a program that works for you.

ARCHES provides free, educational presentations on a variety of topics. ARCHES maintains an open-door policy on all of our services, so our community can feel informed, involved, and supported. Presentations may be adapted based on the needs of your organization. For more information email or 403-328-8186.

We offer presentations on the following topics:

  • HIV, Hepatitis C & STIs: The Basics
    • This training offers the basics around HIV, Hepatitis C, and STIs. It coverers modes of transmission, symptoms, prevention and treatment options. This session is approximately two hours in length.
  • Harm Reduction
    • This information session covers the basics of harm reduction principles. Information will be provided on safer drug consumption supply distribution, the benefits of harm reduction, and the outcomes for individuals and the community. This session is approximately one hour in length.
  • Safe Needle Pickup Training
    • This training focuses on safe needle handling. It also covers information on the risks of a needle poke and brief introduction to the services that ARCHES provides. This session is approximately one hour in length.
  • Overdose Prevention & Response: Take Home Naloxone
    • This educational session covers emergency opioid overdose response. Information will include recognizing an overdose, providing breaths, administering Naloxone, and overdose prevention. Education is also provided on overdose statistics in Alberta. This session is approximately one hour in length.
  • Sexual Education
    • This presentation is all about comprehensive safer sex education. It can be tailored to a variety of setting for all ages. Topics include sex positivity, consent, empowerment, sexuality, gender identity, inclusivity, and safer sex.
  • Queer Inclusivity Training
    • We provide educational sessions on queer/LGBTQ2S+ identities. This session will cover topics such as gender identity, sexuality, sex, advocacy, being an ally, and LGBTQ2S+ history. This session is approximately three hours in length.
  • Coming Out Support Training
    • Learn how to respond when someone comes out to you. This session is targeted at individuals who work with youth. Information will provided on supporting queer youth and young adults through their coming out process, but has applicable information for all ages. This session is approximately one hour in length.
  • HIV & AIDS: A History
    • Learn more about the history of HIV/AIDS. This session will cover political issues, social movements, religious influences, research, funding, prevention, treatment, and memorials. This session is approximately one hour in length.
  • Supervised Consumption Services
    • Have questions about supervised consumption services? This one hour session will provide you with a chance to learn more about our supervised consumption services and to ask any questions you may have.

Community Outreach

The Community Outreach Addictions Program (COAP) provides outreach services around Supervised Consumption Services to liaise between people affected by homelessness, people accessing ARCHES programs and services, staff and business owners. The team delivers assessment, diversion and/or intervention support services where there are homeless individuals who are not connected to existing health and/or social services. COAP also provides support to businesses and community members who are being impacted by activities related to homelessness and substance use, such as litter, substance use debris, encampments, etc.

Monday-Friday: 6:00AM-1:00PM
Saturday & Sunday: 8:00AM-5:00PM

COAP Reach: The team works in the area of 1st Avenue South and 4th Avenue South between 13 Street South and Stafford Drive South

Needle Pick Up

COAP also facilitates a needle pickup program for any needles found within the Lethbridge community. Call the ARCHES hotline and an ARCHES staff member will arrive within the hour to pick up the needle. For priority calls an ARCHES staff member will pick up as soon as possible. Priority calls include playgrounds, schools, and daycares.

Phone: 403-332-0722
Hours: 8:30AM-9:00PM Daily

Simply call the line and be ready to tell us:

  • The full location address
  • A description of where the needle is located
  • Your name and call back number
  • The quantity of needles and if there’s any other drug paraphernalia

Hip Hop for Healing allows participants to write and create their own music in a recording space at ARCHES. It provides a creative and healing space for participants.

Hip Hop for Healing Hours:
Monday: ARCHES 1:00-4:00 pm
Tuesday: Mic Club at Victoria Park between 1:00 -3:30 pm & ARCHES 4:00-7:00 pm
Wednesday: ARCHES 1:00-4:00 pm
Thursday: Mic Club at Victoria Park 8:30-11:30 am & Mic Club at Sifton from 1:30-3:30 pm
Friday: Mic Club at Victoria Park 8:30-11:30 am & ARCHES 1:00-4:oo pm

Find our Hip Hop for Healing Soundcloud here! Please note some pieces contain mature content.

Often times through Housing First Intensive Care Management, individuals may be connected to Housing First Clinical Services. Clinical supports focus on meeting an individual in their current circumstance to provide medical care, mental health support, addictions counselling, peer connection, and cultural support.

A referral through Home BASE is required to access Housing First Intensive Care Management (ICM).

ICM provides individualized case management for adults under a housing first model of care. ICM works with the individual to find housing and works to connect them with community resources to sustain health and wellbeing.

I’taamohkanoohsin is the Blackfoot word for “everyone comes together”. I’taamohkanoohsin was initiated by the desire to support people to begin their healing process and it grew into a multi-organizational collaboration. This program offers traditional approaches to wellness ease distress because they address aspects that Western methods typically do not: spirituality, cultural reclamation, cultural continuity, and communal bonds. At ARCHES we offer culturally informed programming that aims to connect Indigenous clients to their culture through daily events in the culture room.

Spirit is the foundation for wellness and resilience. Living by daily Blackfoot values empowers the spirit to connect to the land and all that it contains, and maintaining a relationship with one’s spirit is vital to feeling at home in the world.

Programming includes:

  • Tipi rail cutting
  • Stripping tipi poles
  • Face painting ceremony
  • Hip Hop for Healing
  • Talking circle
  • Community gathering
  • Mini powwow
  • Tipi camp out
  • Storytelling
  • Singing and drumming
  • Hand games
  • Sweats
  • Day trips to sacred sites in Southern Alberta
  • Open mic night
  • Smudging
  • Cooking

At ARCHES we provide advocacy and support to help individuals navigate court and the justice system as a whole. Our main goal is to liaise between participants, lawyers, and/or crown prosecutors and provide case management support for the Lethbridge Integrated Services Court. An external referral is required.

Our SHAPES program provides support, informal counselling, and education for people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

We offer the following services:

  • Funding to attend SAC (Southern Alberta Clinic), or other specialist appointments related to HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
  • Confidential testing.
  • Counselling support both before and after testing.
  • Health care navigation.
  • Assistance accessing other community resources.
  • Education on treatment.
  • Access to peer supports.

For more information feel free to visit ARCHES in person at 1016 1st Avenue S, Lethbridge, AB or call the SHAPES program at 403-328-8186.

The supervised consumption sits is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Supervised consumption services are one component of harm reduction. They provide a hygienic environment for people to consume pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of a nurse. Access to medically supervised consumption services saves lives and enhances community safety.

Supervised consumption services at ARCHES include:

  • A medically supervised consumption room with thirteen injection booths and two supervised inhalation rooms
  • A monitoring space to supervise individuals after consumption to watch for negative reactions to their drugs
  • Nursing staff that can respond to overdoses
  • Immediate access to counselling services
  • Referrals to drug treatment, detox, housing, income support, and other services

Sterile, safe places to consume drugs dramatically reduce these risks and provide opportunities to engage with people who use drugs.

Evidence from research tells us supervised consumption services lead to:

  • Fewer deaths from overdose
  • Increased uptake into primary care and treatment
  • Decreased transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C
  • Increased community safety as supervised consumption services result in a decrease in public injecting or publicly discarded injecting equipment
  • Decreased neighbourhood crime as studies show that incidences such as thefts and vehicle break-ins tend to go down after supervised injection services are established

Naloxone saves lives. Naloxone blocks the opioid receptors in the brain used to reverse opioid overdose. Opioids such as Fentanyl, Heroin, Morphine and Oxycontin can cause life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system. Naloxone is used to counter the life-threatening effects of opioids.  Naloxone only works if a person has opioids in their system, and the medication will not have any effect if the person is having a non-opioid related overdose. Still though, administering Naloxone has very few side effects and will usually not hurt someone if opioids are absent. Naloxone is non-addictive and it does not make people feel high.

ARCHES offers a take home Naloxone training to help train individuals within our community to respond to an opioid overdose. If you’re interested in getting a Naloxone training:

The Urban Spirits Nursing Clinic is open from 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday. Everyone is welcome to access the clinic, and no health card is required.

Services include:

  • STI and blood borne infection testing
  • Pregnancy testing and care
  • Safer sex education
  • Vein and wound care
  • Basic lab work
  • Mental health support
  • Referrals