Message from Our Executive Director
With the warm summer months coming to a close and the Thanksgiving season just around the corner, I’ve been feeling incredibly grateful for every one of you who has contributed to life change this summer.
Throughout the summer, many of you took our summer challenge and supported us during a time of financial difficulty for the province and our city. Because of your generosity, I am confident entering into the fall and winter months as we expand our process of life change to launch our women’s recovery program.
Thank you for your support, you have demonstrated your love and care for those hurting the most in our city.
Throughout the summer we have supported over three hundred people in our programs and watched over 30 men graduate from our Living in Recovery program. I’ve watched their growth over the weeks and months that they stay with us and I am continuously humbled by their amazing transformations as they move forward into strong, healthy lives.
As we begin preparations for Thanksgiving at the Dream Centre, I am reminded how much we have to be thankful for. Most of us have friends and family that we get to celebrate with this season, and I just want to provide that same blessing to every man and woman who comes to us in search of hope. Thank you for taking the time to read through this edition of Transformations and supporting life change.
CEO /Executive Director at the Calgary Dream Centre
James’ Story of Healing
My name is James, and I was born in a small town in Ontario, in 1960. I grew up in a violent household. I didn’t know how to deal with what was happening to me, so I looked for acceptance with the wrong crowd and started doing drugs when I was 13. By the time I was 16, I’d been charged with possession of drugs.
I quit school when I was 17 and moved to Calgary where I partied nonstop and began dealing drugs for a biker gang.
I got married at 22 and drew my wife into the partying life. We had two children, and they bore the brunt of our destructive lifestyle.
At 26, I went to jail for two years for conspiracy to sell cocaine. During my first year in jail I continued to sell drugs. My marriage was very strained. I became depressed and I even attempted suicide.
After my attempt failed, I looked for answers in the prison chapel. There, I found peace for the first time and gave my life to God.
After my release, I returned to my family, but my resolve to live a healthy life didn’t last long. My choices led to chaos. I lost my relationships with my wife and children, and turned my back on God, returning to jail several times.
On April 6th 2011, my 51st birthday, I woke up in the crack house I had been calling home. I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live. I didn’t want to hurt my kids anymore and I wanted to be a part of their lives. I checked myself into a hospital to get clean.
Upon my release, I had nowhere to go. I stayed at a shelter where I met four young pastors. We talked all through the night about faith and they inspired me to join a recovery program at the Calgary Dream Centre.
The Dream Centre was amazing, full of people challenging me to take steps towards the life I wanted. I felt accepted and valued. I started going to church in the building, recommitted my life to God and started rebuilding my family.
Since graduating from the Calgary Dream Centre, I have completed my studies in biblical theology. I’m now an assistant pastor at a church in west Calgary where I use my testimony to inspire others. I’ve mended my relationships with my kids and now get to experience the beautiful life God has for me. I cannot believe how blessed I am—after all the years of struggling—to get to be a father and grandfather. I am so thankful for the Calgary Dream Centre and the life change I experienced there.
Thanksgiving at the Dream Centre
On October 12th, we’ll be inviting our guys to enjoy a hearty, delicious Thanksgiving meal and inviting their families too!
This means we need to prepare a lot more food than usual. This year, we’ll be preparing over a thousands meals! We all look forward to these events, particularly to see fathers, brothers and sons reuniting with their families.
CTA: Give today and help our guests transform! Together, we can give our guys and their families more reasons to be thankful. You can provide an entire meal for just $3.89! Don’t hesitate to give today.
You can provide an entire meal for just $3.89!
Don’t hesitate to give today.
That's 38 meals for men in recovery