The Healing Power of Rest
As the earth prepares itself for a season of rest, I can’t help but marvel at the beauty of the colors surrounding us. It strikes wonder in my heart, at how a tree can look the most beautiful right before it’s about to lose all its leaves. I used to think this was a shame. Why couldn’t the tree bear this much beauty all year round?
My perspective has changed as I’ve grown to realize the value that a season of rest can bring. Rest helps us weather the hardships of life, much like rest helps a tree survive in winter. We need periods of rest in life to heal, and restore so we can once again flourish into the people we are meant to be.
I’ve seen this to be true with our residents here at the Calgary Dream Centre. Many walk through our doors, feeling they’ve lost everything in their life. Through a season of rest and recovery with us, they are able to heal and be restored into the individuals they want to be. It’s remarkable to watch!
As the leaves fall, and winter comes. I encourage you to take the time to find rest in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life. It will give you the strength you need to weather the storms that come your way and give you the energy you need to flourish when warmer weather is upon us again.
I hope you can find a moment to read about the amazing people that have truly begun to flourish right here, at the Calgary Dream Centre.
Richard came to us after surviving over 35 years of homelessness! After a tough childhood, and time spent in foster care, Richard ended up on the streets at the very young age of 15. He ended up finding a crowd that helped him survive the harsh realities of street living. However, this group also introduced him to drugs.
Drugs would help take the edge off of the hunger pains he was experiencing, they also helped him cope with the very cold nights he spent outside. He would go up to seven days without eating anything at a time. At the age of 50, he decided that he had enough of this life, and decided to seek help.
He came to the Calgary Dream Centre, and has completely changed his life!
“When I walked through the doors of the Calgary Dream Centre, I was nervous, but everyone greeted me kindly and made me feel comfortable. Having consistent meals, and a roof over my head brought me a peace of mind I had not experienced before. It gave me what I needed to start to recover from years of drug addiction and learn how to reintegrate back into society.
I’ve since graduated from the Recovery Program, found a job, and have gained 35 pounds from all of the food I’ve eaten since coming here! For the first time in my life, I feel healthy and happy.” says Richard.
Pet Access League Society (PALS) is a Calgary-based non-profit which focuses on enhancing lives through pet visitation therapy. PALS has been visiting us at the Calgary Dream Centre for over 5 years now.
Most people who have been around pets know that they can count on big eyes, a wagging tail, and a slobbery kiss to brighten their day. PALS visitations are not just a fun activity for our residents but also an important part of their recovery journey. Pet therapy is known to significantly reduce pain, anxiety, and depression, as well as increase the feel-good hormone oxytocin (the same hormone that bonds mothers to babies).
Meet Kole, he is a fun-loving furry animal who may look small but has a mighty heart. One of his memories is when he visited the Calgary Dream Centre after taking a long break through COVID. A fellow came down and sat in a chair. He ran and jumped into his lap and started to snuggle and kiss his face. Typically, PALS dogs would never run and jump on someone’s lap but afterward, the man thanked PALS for making him feel better and helping him through a rough time.
During one visit, a guy was sitting off by himself away from the dogs and other people. He was looking at his phone and didn’t seem interested in visiting with the dogs. Soda (a furry friend) was trying to go to him, but I held her back. Eventually, I let her get closer to him and she stood in front of him staring at him until he looked up. He reached out and she went up to him. He petted her head, said hello and smiled. It touched my heart that attention from an animal can bring a smile to someone’s face even when they aren’t expecting it.
-Jessica PALS Volunteer
The first time we came Dapper rolled over for a belly pat and whined for one of the residents to keep petting him. He knew he was needed there. Time and time again we hear a story from residents about their dogs and missing them. Pets have a special place in many people’s hearts. They bring such calm and healing into our lives. PALS is a great program connecting pet therapy for those that need it and maybe are missing their furry friends during their stay at the Dream Centre.
If you have a desire to volunteer, we would love to add you to our team today. For more information, visit our website at https://calgarydreamcentre.com/volunteer
Our Woodshop is one of our resident favorites! Each week, resident’s from various programs will spend time in the woodshop learning basic woodworking skills. They work together to build something that they can be proud of, much like they are doing with their own lives in recovery!
Did you know, our woodshop sells beautiful products with 100% of the proceeds going towards supporting the Calgary Dream Centre? You can purchase something beautiful for your home, while making an impact in the lives of those overcoming addiction and homelessness! Visit our website www.cdcwoodshop.com to view our fall collection.
Change Is Good
Looking to update your wardrobe for fall? Look no further, our beautiful curated thrift store is stocked full of brand name clothing, all with a price tag you can feel good about.
Not only is this a place you can practice shopping sustainability, but all of the proceeds go back to supporting the Calgary Dream Centre.
We are open Tuesday – Sunday from 11 AM – 5 PM, and our address is 1317 9th Ave SE, Calgary AB, T2G 0T2.
Cleaning your closet? Did you know we receive women’s clothing donations at our store? These donations can be received anytime during store hours.
For more information, check out our website: www.changeisgoodyyc.com or visit our social media.
Did you know about our Community Housing Program? Here, we house over 230 individuals who are at risk for homelessness in 49 properties across the city! This includes both those who identify as men and women. Here, they have access to case management, career support, safe housing, meal hampers, addictions recovery support and so much more.
Our Community Housing Program is home to many of our graduates from our Recovery Program, and often acts as “the next step” to securing independence. We also house individuals who have graduated from other addiction and homelessness recovery programs in the city, or those who just need safe and affordable housing for a season.
We are so grateful to our Community Housing team for the amazing work they do each day to support our Community Residents!
“Our community housing program provides transitional housing for people who are in recovery. We provide support for things like updating resumes, applying for school, applying for funding, building social networks, finding jobs, and even basic things like cooking, cleaning, and other daily living skills. I enjoy working in this program because on a daily basis I get to see my clients reclaim their life, some after decades of addiction and homelessness. I get to see them be empowered, and feel confident in making decisions for themselves. It’s a remarkable thing to witness people being able to achieve things they never dreamed were possible.” – Emily, Community Case Manager
Your Impact this Fall
Thank you for helping us give more than meals this fall season.
We want to offer our gratitude to those who gave during the Thanksgiving season.
Due to your generosity, we were able to provide:
We are blown away by our community’s generosity!
Thank you, for helping us provide a place of hope and healing for those overcoming addiction and homelessness. We couldn’t do it without you!