A Message from our Executive Director
As spring quickly leads to summer, there is an atmosphere of change all around us. At the Calgary Dream Centre, we’re continually celebrating renewal and life change as we help men and women through recovery programs that transform their lives.
But spring is also a difficult time for us at the Calgary Dream Centre. We typically don’t receive as much support during these months, and with the economy causing all of us concern, more people are hurting and the Dream Centre will probably receive even less support this year than usual. As you’ll read in Mel’s story later in this newsletter, the economy is also negatively impacting the lives of individuals in our city.
In light of that, we are extremely grateful for all of you who are giving generously—whether you’re giving for the first or second time, or whether you give regularly. We especially want to thank those of you who supported us through the Easter season, as we celebrated new life with our guests over a hearty meal.
As we recognize Mother’s Day, we hope that you’ll join us in honouring women everywhere. Our new women’s recovery program is underway and we’re already seeing healthy growth in those we’re serving!
Please read on for further news and stories, as we seek to be transparent and inspirational with this annual report.
Mel’s Story of Transformation
My name is Mel, and when I was just six years old, an abusive man entered my family’s life. Life would never be the same. I just remember one day being a completely happy, free child and then the next day living a total nightmare. My mom was doing the best she could, but he was too strong for her. After six years of trauma and abuse, the man became sick and too weak to hit us kids anymore. I was 12 years old when my mom kicked him out of the house.
But, by then, it was too late for me to regain the joy of childhood. I was still carrying the shame of the abuse from years before, and, between the ages of twelve and fifteen, I ended up in the drunk tank ten times. I began to do drugs. I didn’t believe that I was worthy of affection, so even though my family loved me, I didn’t believe in their love.
I pushed my mother to the limit with my rebellious behavior. She did everything she could to help me, but eventually I had to move out. I dropped out of high school around the same time, and the next 18 years were a vicious cycle of trying and failing to cope with my growing addiction.
I tried living in Europe for a few years, then eventually moved back home and found a job as an Engineering Administrative Assistant, which gave me a new sense of purpose and identity. But my self-esteem hit an all-time low when I was laid off due to the economic downturn, and couldn’t find another job. I spiralled further into addiction than I ever had before, isolating myself and preparing to die.
But my family never gave up on me. I finally listened to them and applied to an addiction treatment program at Aventa. While there, I realized that I couldn’t succeed on my own.
“It’s such a blessing to have some independence, but also community, and to be in a place where everyone I know is working towards the same goals.” – Mel
Thankfully, I didn’t have to. Instead, my counsellor told me about two new residential homes for women at the Calgary Dream Centre. Right after I graduated, I was able to transfer into one of the two homes along with eight other women. I called it my “Dream Home.” It’s absolutely beautiful, and from the moment I stepped through the doors of the house, I loved it. I feel so safe and supported here. It’s such a blessing to have some independence, but also community, and to be in a place where everyone I know is working towards the same goals.
None of this would have been possible if I’d had to live on my own after treatment. I am alive today and have hope for a bright future because of the prayerful support of my friends and family, and the continued support that the Calgary Dream Centre has given me. Today, I’m working towards going back to school, paying off my debts, and finding a good job.
I know that the Calgary Dream Centre wants to ensure that all women in our community are able to find a home here, with the support we need to build brighter futures, and I’m so grateful. Thank you Calgary Dream Centre!
A Look Back at 2015/2016
Transform a life today
$150.00 supports a person
in recovery for 3 days