Founded in 1995, Oxford House Foundation of Canada is a non-profit organization that provides peer-supported sober recovery homes for men and women who have a history of substance abuse and are homeless or at risk of homelessness. By providing a safe and stable environment where men and women can focus on their recovery, Oxford House supports individuals to develop the skills necessary for self-sufficiency and successful reintegration back into society. Oxford House has 27 recovery homes operating in Calgary and Edmonton.

Mission Statement

To provide safe and affordable housing for individuals in recovery from addictions.

Oxford House History

Oxford House is based on a model that was developed in 1975 in the United States. The first American Oxford House was established in Silver Spring, Maryland when a county government halfway house was being closed down. The men in the house who were being faced with eviction decided to rent and run the house on their own. Using what they had learned from their experiences in halfway houses, the men developed an organizational plan and the concept of Oxford House was born. Today, there are almost 2000 Oxford Houses in the United States.

In 1994, a group of individuals interested in the unique concept of Oxford House began discussions on how to bring this “revolution in recovery” to Alberta. The first Oxford House in Canada was opened for women in Calgary in 1995. Three more houses for men were opened over the next two years. Oxford House Foundation of Canada was incorporated under the Societies Act of Alberta in February 1996, and obtained its charitable status in October 1997. Today, there are 27 recovery homes operating in Calgary and Edmonton. Each house accommodates up to five individuals in recovery.

Board of Directors Executive Staff
Debra Johnstone, Chair

Michael Pashelka, Vice Chair

Kim Walmsley, Treasure Chair

Leanne Froese, Secretary

Cecil Lukenbill, Director

George Stady, Director

Eve MacMillan, Honourary Director

Patrick Nixon, Executive Director

Earl Thiessen, Program Manager

Tracey Twittey, Finance Coordinator

Diana Schwenk, Development Coordinator



How Oxford House Works

When men and women in recovery come to Oxford House, they have already taken some important steps on their road to recovery. They know it’s not going to be easy. They’re ready to work hard. They know they’ll get out what they put in. And when they take the next step to live in an Oxford Home, they know we’ll support them.


Because we’ve been there and know how important this step is. Recovery without relapse is possible in an Oxford home. Each home forms its own family and is situated in a suburban neighbourhood away from danger areas.

The peer support of other residents in the house who have experienced many of the same difficulties is a benefit to our residents. They find understanding and hope while learning how to live with life’s challenges.

Oxford residents take their lives back by:

  • Taking responsibility for their sobriety.
  • Managing their share of household chores and expenses.
  • Finding and maintaining a job, going to school, or volunteering.

Admission Criteria

Potential residents are required to have at least 14 days sobriety and have completed a treatment program in the last year. Also, they must be willing to gain and keep a job or go to school fulltime.

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