A Place for Healing

by Linda Leigh
Categories: Annual Review
Share:

“My life was out of control when I showed up on the doorstep of The Salvation Army’s Caring Place in Maple Ridge, B.C. , “ says Al. “Using hard drugs was my way of dealing with pain caused by the sudden and brutal death of my 23-year-old son.

“I was broken, desperate and looking for help. For four years I’d been living on the streets, homeless and addicted to crystal meth. I made bad choices that brought me to places I never thought possible. After the arrest of my son’s murderer, I tried to quit drugs, but I had too many problems to fix on my own.

“I remember my first day at the Caring Place like it was yesterday. A client advocate sat down with me, listened intently to what I had to say, and validated all the feelings I’d bottled up for years. I felt heard and started to believe there was hope.

New Life

“I was welcomed into a program that changed my life,” says Al. “My individual case plan included group therapy, various life-skills classes and 12-step classes. I finally stopped using drugs.

“After a year of working on my recovery, I set my sights higher and researched educational options. A year later I had the mandatory two years clean time and enrolled in a Community Social Service Worker program.

“In 2012 I received my diploma and acquired two jobs, one that works with homeless or  ‘at-risk’ populations, the other with young men dealing with drug or alcohol related issues.”

Positive Outcomes

“There are many things I’d long given up hope for,” says Al. “Now,  I’m a contributing member of society.  I have a relationship with my grandchildren. My daughter constantly tells me how proud she is of my accomplishments. My dad tells his friends about how well I am doing.

“I truly believe that without the nurturing environment or the positive relationships I experienced at The Salvation Army’s  Caring Place, none of this would have been possible.

“I’m now a person I like when I look in the mirror.”