About

History

Jim Kay and Paul

The Beginning of Brentwood Recovery Home

When Jim and Kay Ryan met Father Paul Charbonneau in Emeryville at his parish the history of Brentwood began. Jim and Kay worked with Father Paul to make Brentwood become a reality.

Charity House

In 1964 a group of Father Paul Charbonneau, Jim and Kay Ryan, seven men, and $35.00 rented a vacant restaurant on the corner of Wyandotte St. E. and Chilver Road, Windsor, ON to start Charity House. After a short period of time they realized that they needed a bigger place. Jim and Kay Ryan believed in what Father Paul was doing so they sold their home and used the money to purchase a building behind Peerless Ice Cream Parlor in Old Walkerville which became Charity House. Jim and Kay would dedicate their lives to the running and maintaining of Brentwood so they moved into an apartment in Charity House in order to help Father Paul.

In 1964, a government task force determined that places like Windsor – where there was a high incidence of drinking-related crimes – should have a recovery home. Father Ken Jaggs asked Fr. Paul Charbonneau if he would run the recovery home and Fr. Paul accepted. The $5,000.00 deposit was laughed at but funds to buy the Sandwich street home that would become Brentwood came from a perfectly timed intervention of a friend in Ottawa who knew of a group that allocated funds to just such community organizations.

charity house on Chilver

Charity House
Corner of Wyandotte St. E. and Chilver Road in Windsor, Ontario

Charity House

In 1964 a group of Father Paul Charbonneau, Jim and Kay Ryan, seven men, and $35.00 rented a vacant restaurant on the corner of Wyandotte St. E. and Chilver Road, Windsor, ON to start Charity House. After a short period of time they realized that they needed a bigger place. Jim and Kay Ryan believed in what Father Paul was doing so they sold their home and used the money to purchase a building behind Peerless Ice Cream Parlor in Old Walkerville which became Charity House. Jim and Kay would dedicate their lives to the running and maintaining of Brentwood so they moved into an apartment in Charity House in order to help Father Paul.

In 1964, a government task force determined that places like Windsor – where there was a high incidence of drinking-related crimes – should have a recovery home. Father Ken Jaggs asked Fr. Paul Charbonneau if he would run the recovery home and Fr. Paul accepted. The $5,000.00 deposit was laughed at but funds to buy the Sandwich street home that would become Brentwood came from a perfectly timed intervention of a friend in Ottawa who knew of a group that allocated funds to just such community organizations.

charity house on Chilver

Charity House
Corner of Wyandotte St. E. and Chilver Road in Windsor, Ontario

Sandwich house

Renamed to Brentwood

After a lot of hard work, September 1, 1974, St. Joseph House of Studies, 3020 Sandwich Street was bought and renamed Brentwood, a recovery home for male alcoholics only, with a 20-30 bed capacity.

The name Charity House, where the homeless were fed and cared for, did not attract the alcoholic so the name was changed to Brentwood and still stands today.

Image to the left:
3020 Sandwich Street, Windsor, Ontario

Renamed to Brentwood

After a lot of hard work, September 1, 1974, St. Joseph House of Studies, 3020 Sandwich Street was bought and renamed Brentwood, a recovery home for male alcoholics only, with a 20-30 bed capacity.

The name Charity House, where the homeless were fed and cared for, did not attract the alcoholic so the name was changed to Brentwood and still stands today.

Sandwich house

3020 Sandwich Street
Windsor, Ontario

Meetings Held at St. Hubert’s School

As the program grew, Fr. Paul leased St. Hubert’s School in South Windsor for $1.00 a year to hold meetings in the daytime and return to Brentwood at night.

In 1983, River Canard K. of C. donated a bus to transport residents from the Sandwich home to St. Hubert’s School.

Image to the right:
St. Hubert’s School
South Windsor, Ontario

St. Hubert's School

Meetings Held at St. Hubert’s School

As the program grew Fr. Paul leased St. Hubert’s School in South Windsor for $1.00 a year to hold meetings in the daytime and return to Brentwood at night for the next two years.

In 1983, River Canard K. of C. donated a bus to transport residents from the Sandwich home to St. Hubert’s School.

St. Hubert's School

St. Hubert’s School
South Windsor, Ontario

Elmwood Casino

Making Another Move

In the 1980’s Brentwood really took off. Once again the demand made it necessary to make another move. In October 1983 the old Elmwood casino, located at 2335 Dougall Avenue became available for sale. It had been closed for years and was in great despair with windows smashed, electrical stripped and entire walls missing.

From November 1983 until July 17, 1984, many people worked, unpaid, remodeling until the opening of Brentwood, 2335 Dougall Avenue, Windsor, ON, which is still our home today.

Image to the left:
The Old Elmwood Casino, 2335 Dougall Avenue, Windsor, Ontario

Making Another Move

In the 1980’s Brentwood really took off. Once again the demand made it necessary to make another move. In October 1983 the old Elmwood casino, located at 2335 Dougall Avenue became available for sale. It had been closed for years and was in great despair with windows smashed, electrical stripped and entire walls missing.

From November 1983 until July 17, 1984, many people worked, unpaid, remodeling until the opening of Brentwood, 2335 Dougall Avenue, Windsor, ON, which is still our home today.

Elmwood Casino

The Old Elmwood Casino
2335 Dougall Avenue, Windsor, Ontario

Women Welcomed to Brentwood

In 1975 a Women’s Support meeting started run by Fr. Paul. The disease of alcoholism had affected the women in these men’s lives also and they needed just as much help as the alcoholic.

Kay Ryan Centre

Kay Ryan, Centre for Women

In 1977 the Youth Group started for children ages 9 to 18. Alcoholism is a family disease and support needed to be made available to the children of the alcoholic also. In 1983, the Youth Group was restructured for children ages 7 to 15.

In 1984, Father Paul was approached by the County School Boards to ask if Brentwood people would go into the schools and talk to the students in Grades 7 and 8 about their experiences with alcohol and drugs. It was very successful and is still in place today.

On February 26, 1985, the first alcoholic woman entered Brentwood and after consultation with Father Paul was allowed to attend meetings accompanied by Kay Ryan. In the beginning the empty house on Sandwich Street was used as the women’s residence, starting with 20 beds. After a year the decision was made to move the women to Dougall Avenue and place them in the front bedrooms of the building. Kay Ryan worked with the women for the first three years.

Today the women’s programs are located in the Kay Ryan Residence for Women which was added to the property in 1995 at the front of the property. After 23 years Kay Ryan retired in April 1988 and the Women’s Program was put in capable hands. Kay continued passing along her wisdom and guidance to the women when needed until her passing on November 18, 2013.

Women Welcomed to Brentwood

In 1975 a Women’s Support meeting started run by Fr. Paul. The disease of alcoholism had affected the women in these men’s lives also and they needed just as much help as the alcoholic.

In 1977 the Youth Group started for children ages 9 to 18. Alcoholism is a family disease and it needed to be made available to the children of the alcoholic also. In 1983, the Youth Group was restructured for children ages 7 to 15.

In 1984, Father Paul was approached by the County School Boards to ask if Brentwood people would go into the schools and talk to the students in Grades 7 and 8 about their experiences with alcohol and drugs. It was very successful and is still in place today.

On February 26, 1985, the first alcoholic woman entered Brentwood and after consultation with Father Paul was allowed to attend meetings accompanied by Kay Ryan. In the beginning the empty house on Sandwich Street was used as the women’s residence, starting with 20 beds. After a year the decision was made to move the women to Dougall Avenue and place them in the front bedrooms of the building. Kay Ryan worked with the women for the first three years.

Today the women’s programs are located in the Kay Ryan Residence for Women building which was added to the property in 1995 at the front of the property. After 23 years Kay Ryan retired in April 1988 and the Women’s Program was put in capable hands. Kay continued passing along her wisdom and guidance to the women when needed until her passing on November 18, 2013.

Kay Ryan Centre

Kay Ryan,
Centre for Women