Calgary Dream Centre
4510 Macleod Trail SW Calgary AB T2G 0A4 (403) 243-5598

I Found HomeEdgar's Story

My name is Edgar and the Calgary Dream Centre changed my life.

I grew up in Nova Scotia, the oldest of six siblings. My dad served in the Navy and was usually away at sea. Our mother worked, so I ended up raising my younger siblings. When my dad was home my parents fought a lot, but other than that I had a happy childhood with many fond memories—my life was nice before I started drinking.

Then one day in junior high I was told I was old enough and was handed some rum. Oh, that feeling. The warmth. That was the first time I got drunk and I was instantly in love.

When I was 17, I joined the army and started drinking all the time. Back then, the barracks had beer machines instead of pop machines, and it was dirt cheap. As a driver in the army, I drove all sorts of vehicles, but I was always drunk, always fighting, and always in trouble.

When I left the army, I worked for a while. It wasn’t long before I lost my job and started moving from place to place across the country. I worked odd jobs and stayed in shelters.

While the places and the jobs changed, the thread that tied my life together was alcohol. I drank, no matter where I was staying. Eventually, I walked into a liquor store and didn’t have enough money for a drink so I got a bus ticket across the border into the states. Everything was so much cheaper there, so I stayed for 10 years.

When I was sent back to Canada it was the same old story, just bouncing around. I wish I could tell you something else, but that was my life for so many years.

Then one day, a detox worker told me about the Calgary Dream Centre, and when I learned that they could help me, I wanted to know more. I went to the Dream Centre and they welcomed me into their addictions recovery program. I completed the program and found a job. It was an exciting time, but the cravings were too much. I relapsed. They put me through their program twice, but both times I relapsed.

I was stuck in a cycle of addiction, and it filled me with so much shame. But to my surprise, the Dream Centre didn’t give up on me. After my second relapse, I was drinking outside of a shopping centre and my caseworker pulled up in a car, right in front of me…she had come looking for me.

My caseworker convinced me that I should come back to the Dream Centre. When I came back, I had two black eyes, no teeth, and I hadn’t changed or washed in over a month. But no one looked down at me. The staff shook my hand, and no one made fun of me. I could tell people actually cared.

This time, I stayed at the Dream Centre for 13 months, fighting through some of the worst cravings of my life. I don’t know how I made it, but it must have been God watching out for me.

Once I was ready, my caseworker helped me find a home. I spent so many years in different institutions and on the streets—I never had a place of my own. Sometimes, I can’t sleep at night because I’m so grateful to have a home. For the first time, I have too much to lose. All my life, I’ve been starting over, but now I can’t bear to lose everything again. This winter, I have a home, and I honestly never believed that could be possible for me.

I’ve been lost my whole life, just wandering around from one place to another. But when I found the Dream Centre, I found home. I can’t express how thankful I am to the Dream Centre for their help.

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The Calgary Dream Centre acknowledges with humble gratitude that our organization is located on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Iyarhe Nakoda Nations, the Otipemisiwak Métis Government of the Métis Nation within Alberta District 6, and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.