Executive Director Message
As Christmas approaches and another year ends, I am so grateful for all the incredible things that happened this fall, and for the generosity that made it all possible.
This Thanksgiving, we welcomed hundreds of guests for a delicious turkey dinner. It was such a privilege to witness everyone celebrating with their families and friends!
Below, you can read how recovery helped Allen rebuild his life. Kate also shares what it means to have her father back after years of alcoholism. These stories of transformation are only possible thanks to people like you sharing your compassion and kindness.
Thank you to all of our generous donors for your faithful support. Through your gifts this winter, you will help welcome new residents, serve Christmas meals, keep our homes warm, and provide the support needed for healing and recovery!
Rebuilding his Life
My name is Allen and at only one-month-old, I was put into my first foster home. By 17, I was living in my 19th home.
Some of the foster homes were really good, but others were neglectful and abusive. I remember being with one family in a large home on a farm. I loved that family. I told my social worker I didn’t want to move anymore, but eventually I had to. Leaving was traumatic. I had finally found a loving home and it was taken from me. That’s when I stopped establishing emotional ties with anything.
When I was 17, I moved into a group home. That’s where my drug addiction began. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be wanted, so I did whatever it took.
Later on, I started a business that took off for a while, but when it fell, I reached a new low. Eventually I sought help through the Calgary Dream Centre. I made great connections, but after graduating my mom got sick. I fell into my addiction again, even deeper than before.
I hit rock bottom when my friend overdosed in front of me and died. I broke down and prayed. I told God I needed a way out—that I couldn’t do it alone. Shortly after, I received a message out of nowhere from the Youth Program Manager at the Calgary Dream Centre inviting me to try the program again. That was my sign, and I said yes.
When I arrived for the second time, I wasn’t judged for relapsing. The connection and love I felt was overwhelming. The Dream Centre is like a family. You don’t even feel like you are in a treatment centre. For the first time, I made genuine friends and experienced genuine laughter. When I think about what the Dream Centre has given me, I think of the connections I’ve made and the confidence I’ve gained.
Now I have a job I love. I have a relationship with God. I am proud of where I am, proud to be me. I can look myself in the mirror for the first time and truly be happy. I still have good days and bad days, but my bad days are nowhere near where they were in my addiction. I’m so happy where I am today. That’s what the Dream Centre has given me.
Kate Shares Her Heart
So many words could describe the feeling of having a healthy, sober father back in my life: joy, love, and accountability to name a few. What it doesn’t feel like is worrying, wondering and waiting for the worst to happen.
My dad couldn’t tell you how many days he’s been sober. The way he sees it, no matter how many sober days you have, it only takes one to mess it up and be back at day one. He focuses on not having that one bad day rather than counting his successful days.
However, I can tell you exactly how many days he’s been sober. On Family Day of 2018, when most people were enjoying time with loved ones, I was single-handedly packing up the apartment my alcoholic father had been evicted from before the building manager came to change the locks. I then made calls to find somewhere for him to stay, and more importantly, somewhere for him to get help. The cycle of depression, addiction, job loss and eviction had repeated itself too many times. Even in his intoxicated state, he admitted he wanted help.
The Dream Centre came to mind and I reached out to an old friend, Jim Moore, to see if we could get my dad into the program. Five days later my dad entered the 49-day recovery program and hasn’t looked back since.
My relationship with my dad is now stronger than it has been in my 39 years. We see each other regularly and enjoy our time together. Thanks to the amazing team at the Calgary Dream Centre, he is not just sober, he is calm, confident and able to handle daily stressors. He is a better employee, friend, and father, and for that I am incredibly grateful.
Transform a life today
$150.00 supports a person
in recovery for 3 days
Every Christmas, the Dream Centre provides a holiday meal for our residents. A hot meal shared in community is often someone’s first step in recovery. But at the Dream Centre, we provide more than meals, including a welcoming community, a sense of belonging, and a place to call home for the holidays. New residents are offered welcome packets of essential supplies, and are set up with a caseworker to help them reintegrate into society.
From the floor-to-ceiling decorations, to the festive, friendly atmosphere and chance to connect, Christmas is a time that our guests, staff and volunteers all eagerly look forward to. At times like Christmas we see most clearly how your support provides so much more than meals. Please consider giving this Christmas to help break the cycle of homelessness and addiction.