Message from Our Executive Director
With Christmas just over a month away, we’re excited about everything that’s been happening at the Dream Centre in preparation for the season. We make it our mission—especially during these harsh and cold winter months—to reach as many people as possible.
While we are working every day to combat the devastating effects of addiction and homelessness in our city, and are so appreciative of all of the support we have already received, there are still so many people in need of our help.
Living in Calgary has been difficult for a lot of people recently as the recession has taken its toll and more people are struggling to make ends meet. The downturn in the economy has especially affected the people who are living on the streets as temperatures continue to drop and hope seems farther out of reach.
As the number of people living on the streets increases, we at the Calgary Dream Centre take it as a challenge to seek more ways to help the vulnerable in our city. It is because of this passion for life change, that we have opened the doors of our first women's recovery home this fall.
Because of your support, incredible life change is taking place here every day. Let’s spread the joy of this holiday season together to those most vulnerable in our city. Thank you so much for your continued support. I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas.
CEO/Executive Director at the Calgary Dream Centre
I’ll be home for Christmas
Like so many of us, Jay was simply looking for acceptance. At the age of 15, he began drinking at parties with friends. Quickly, he became trapped in his addictions. By 28, even though he was making good money working in the oil patch and had a beautiful family, his addiction was controlling his life.
“I felt so much guilt,” says Jay. “Even though I was making a lot of money, I had to borrow some to come home for Christmas to see my baby girl. As I looked into my daughter’s innocent face, I felt like I had no right to be around her with the life that I was living.”
We see so many people paralyzed by addiction and too many families torn apart by this disease. Christmas is about receiving the greatest gift we could ever hope for—forgiveness and a second chance. At the Calgary Dream Centre, our work is aimed at giving a second chance to men, women and families every day.
Jay remained trapped in his addictions for years, but his wake-up call finally came when he got caught drunk behind the wheel two days before his daughter’s 18th birthday. He lost everything. “Admitting my mistakes to my daughter was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But she accepted me and actually told me some news of her own. She was pregnant.”
Jay’s eyes were suddenly opened. He started reaching out and heard about the Calgary Dream Centre. “I was terrified and had no place to go,” he says. “So when I heard about the Dream Centre, I finally felt like I could hope again.”
In 2011, Jay was accepted into the Living in Recovery program where he was given the tools and supports he needed to conquer his reliance on gambling and drugs. Jay’s daughter came to visit him many times during the program.
After graduating from the Living in Recovery program, Jay joined the Living in Wellness program for an additional six months so that he could continue to lean on the supports he needed to conquer his addictions. After that, Jay found a home in the Living in Community Program, where he could feel normal again through working, gardening, and taking care of his home.
This past summer, Jay’s daughter and her husband had twin girls and this December Jay will celebrate his first Christmas with them as a grandfather.
“The Calgary Dream Centre transformed me into the man I always hoped I could become. The ability I have now—to have nothing to hide, to live with pride and self-respect—is true freedom,” Jay says. “This Christmas, I can look into the beautiful faces of my three granddaughters with joy.”
The Christmas season is a reminder of the incredible gifts that we’ve been given in life. At the Calgary Dream Centre, we want to share these gifts so that we can see more stories like Jay’s where lives are changed and families are reunited. Because of your support, Jay will be home for Christmas.
Be a Part of Christmas at Calgary Dream Centre
You can provide an entire meal for just $3.89!
Don’t hesitate to give today.
That's 38 meals for men in recovery