A Message from the Executive Director
It’s hard to believe summer is nearly over. Throughout June and July, our staff had many opportunities to connect with the community and provide information on our life-changing programs.
Thanks to you, we can look back on a summer filled with many rich memories and moments of transformation. We were able to provide clients in recovery with plenty of fun, outdoor activities. Our annual Women’s Brunch Fundraiser was a great success, and as a result, we are one step closer to providing safe, sober housing for 40 women and their children.
The youth in our Recovery Program are still looking forward to their 4-day camping trip in September, where they can enjoy nature, connect with one another, and rediscover ways to have fun in a sober environment.
Fall is just around the corner and we are preparing for a busy season. It is only with the faithfulness of our donors, that the Dream Centre can continue to provide men and women with the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty and addiction. We are ever grateful for your continued kindness.
Foundation for a New Life
My name is Alex, and thanks to the Dream Centre, my life has changed completely. I had a rough childhood. Growing up, I experienced a lot of trauma. My relationship with my father was very broken, and at school I was constantly bullied. Things seemed to get worse before they got better.
My mother and I ended up living in her car. I wasn’t able to brush my teeth or change my clothes before school. This made the bullying much worse, but there was nothing I could do about it. It was just a series of unfortunate events, but as a kid, all of that pain started to fill me with hate.
By the time I was 10 years old I had become suicidal and started drinking to numb the pain. As a teen, I discovered my drug of choice. Cocaine. As soon as it hit my body I completely embraced it. It became my life.
When I was on drugs, I felt like I was on top of the world. I didn’t realize that I was on a fast track to hitting rock-bottom. I ended up homeless, living under a bridge. I still remember how cold it was sleeping on concrete in the winter. Living outside in extreme weather and doing drugs every day took their toll. I ended up 94 pounds of skin and bone. By the time I was just 18 years old, I had already suffered two massive heart attacks as a result of my drug use. That should have been my wake-up call but somehow it wasn’t.
For me, the turning point was losing three important people in my life in a span of three months. I realized life was short and I needed to make something of myself before it was too late.
“Never in my life did I think I would be going back to school to explore my future. Never did I expect to live a life free of drugs or alcohol. Never did I expect to have real friendships. The Dream Centre helped me discover all of that.” —Alex
I reached out for help and was connected with the Dream Centre. On November 12, 2016, I was enrolled in their Youth Recovery Program. This was the biggest step forward I had ever taken in my life. 49 days later my life had changed completely.
At the Dream Centre, I received medical and psychological support, spiritual care, and addictions counselling. I started living an active lifestyle, eating healthy, going on hikes, and simply living life. I started to accept myself, and I began to realize the dreams I always had could become reality. To this day, my mind, body and soul have never felt better.
Never in my life did I think I would be going back to school to explore my future. Never did I expect to live a life free of drugs or alcohol. Never did I expect to have real friendships. The Dream Centre helped me discover all of that.
Today, I am thankful to be a new me. I am thankful to be alive. The Dream Centre helped me rediscover myself, and it helped me make a solid foundation to build off of for the rest of my life.
Although summer is fresh and exciting for most Canadians, it can be a difficult time for people in recovery. For many, warm weather brings back memories of patio drinks and Stampede parties. But at the Calgary Dream Centre, summer is a time to encourage healthy leisure activities and fun sobriety.
Thanks to the support of our donors, those in our recovery program had a summer with outdoor activities like baseball, day hikes and rafting. These activities give participants an opportunity to connect with nature, build relationships with each another, and learn how to have fun in recovery.
Right now, the young guys in our recovery program are eagerly looking forward to their four-day camping trip in August. Alejandro, a program participant, shares, “The camping trip last year had a big impact on me. I realized there are so many ways to have fun without drinking. My favourite thing was being together around the fire, sharing our stories and sharing our hearts. That was very powerful.” These life-changing summer adventures are only possible because of our generous donors.
Looking Forward to Thanksgiving
Thank you for helping provide a summer of hope at the Dream Centre! We have been so moved by the generous support of our donors. We are now looking ahead to a busy fall season.
On October 6th at 6pm in Freedom House, we will welcome hundreds of guests for a hearty Thanksgiving feast. For many people, sitting down to a nutritious dinner in an inclusive environment provides a spark of hope, and the strength needed to move forward in their lives.
You can provide an entire meal for just $3.89!
Don’t hesitate to give today.
That's 38 meals for men in recovery