Spring 2022 Newsletter

Spring 2022 Newsletter

A Message from the Directors

As we are well into our twentieth year of operation it comes to mind that there is a question that is repeatedly asked of us. It is a natural question, particularly if one is asking about a business, as that is an easy calculation, a matter of dollars and cents. But in a social service charity the measurements are a little less clear.

So, here is the oft asked question: “What is your success rate?”

This is a difficult question to answer. The reason for the difficulty is the matter of trying to determine the definition of success. What are the measured determinates and how does one gather those determinates? Is the measure based upon one individual or upon a large mass of men and for how long? How does one measure when hundreds of men return home to communities across the province and beyond and are “out of touch” with us? Therefore, we want to be up front and honest with our answer and the fact that we don’t really have any concrete numbers, and really, that is not our primary focus. Our focus is to offer a program of “Hope, Healing and Wholeness” to men suffering with addiction and mental health issues.

Over the past two decades we have provided homes and healing programs to over 1,800 men who benefitted, each in their own way, from the love and guidance, care and counseling, beds and meals, which were offered and received in the mind, heart, belly and soul of each individual.

We offer a few measuring tools to assist with an answer:

  • Each and every day 74 men at Freedom’s Door are sober and receive guiding help as to the tools to stay sober and healthy in mind and body over the long term. Prior to coming to our homes, their lives were in chaos and sickness every day.
  • Each day 74 men receive individual counseling to get to the core reasons that led them to a destructive lifestyle. Most men come to us with childhood scars, dysfunctional lives and many traumas that need to be addressed. Many issues are intergenerational. Men with mental health issues are guided to experts and learn how to cope with their challenges and still live a productive life based upon their abilities.
  • There is no quick fix for either addictions or mental health issues! So, a long-term program of creating new habits and attitudes of forgiveness is required; this differs for each individual. There is no “cookie cutter” approach. We accept everyone and offer a special program to meet their needs. It is up to each person to work towards his definition of success.
  • Life skills training, which most clients never received in their lives, is tailored to each one as required or desired. This includes many aspects and leads to furthering the education of the individual based upon his talents and employment desires. Many men while in our program have completed high school and/or higher education diplomas or degrees. Employment opportunities are then available to each one. In our “Next Steps Program” over 90% of our men are working or going to school. Remember that most were unemployed and/or unemployable prior to our program.
  • Repeatedly, over the past two decades, graduates have contacted us from many different hometowns through emails, telephone calls, or drop ins to our office. They tell us that they are still clean of substance abuse, reunited with families, working, volunteering and contributing to society. This is after five, ten or more years of leaving our homes. This is very gratifying and speaks, repeatedly, of very real success. We have often bumped into our graduates who are working at restaurants, building supply stores and other local businesses; we chat briefly of their time at Freedom’s Door and of the success that they have achieved in their lives.
  • Some relapse and return to alcohol and/or drugs. These men are free to return, once more, to receive more training as to how to live a sober life. Relapse prevention is an important aspect of the work. What needs to be remembered is that for ten or twenty or even thirty years prior to their initial entry into Freedom’s Door, they used every day. Changing habits is not easy for any of us. Sometimes a graduate leaves our homes and is sober for many months, has a slip for a week or two, and then returns to Freedom’s Door to get a handle on the situation. We consider that decision to be a success. Our men know where and how to get help when needed.

We hope that this is at least a partial answer to the question. We leave you with this thought: Hundreds of men have said to us, “You have saved my life!”; and many family members have contacted us to say, “Thank you for bringing my son, father, husband, brother, back to me.”

That is success!

We of course owe all of this success to God, the Friends of Freedom’s Door, our devoted staff and the hard work of each of our residents. Each one has stepped up to the difficult task of removing suffering human beings from a life on the streets, in addiction and mental health chaos.

Thank you to all of you for the support, generosity and love provided over the past 20 years!

Love and blessings to you,

The Directors
George Arambasich ∙ Helmut Hubert
Glen Jackson ∙ Chris Matte ∙ Mel Newth
Sandy Shier ∙ Tom Smithwick


A Sister Says Thank You

I extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you at Freedom’s Door. My brother, Stephen, passed away of a heart attack in March 2021. My brother spent time at Freedom’s Door over the past six years. I was always happy to know that he was there, as he was so happy when he was there.

He spoke of the goodness and kindness that he found in the people who work at Freedom’s Door. You provide such a valuable service to the most vulnerable people. Through my brother, I have felt the compassion, empathy, caring and kindness you offered to Stephen and for that I’m eternally grateful. You are Earth’s angels!

With respect and gratitude, Linda


Support from our MP, Tracy Gray

Freedom’s Door is such an asset to the men they help and to our community. Every time I visit, I’m inspired by the incredible work you do. Thank you to the Freedom’s Door team, volunteers, and donors who are committed to helping men find hope and healing and support them to transition back to the community in a safe and secure environment.


More Homes = More Help

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Freedom’s Door, we purchased our eighth home, a four-plex, in February. We now provide recovery counseling and housing to 74 men.


Wisdom

“I shall pass through this life but once; any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
~ Etienne de Grellet, Missionary, 1775-1855


Graduate Gratitude

The donors helped to create Freedom’s Door, a place of forgiveness, love and hope where transformation to a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle is possible. They breathed life back into me and showed me how to love and respect myself and others. They pulled me out of my hell and showed me the love of the Lord and others.
~ Anonymous
Without Freedom’s Door I would not have this opportunity to become a sober member of our community. I am learning everything I need to know to get and stay sober. You are helping to change people’s lives.
~ Joe

Your generosity is helping people who have lost their way. Freedom’s Door helped me get back to who I really am. I see young guys who come here and who are lost, and it reminds me of myself, many years ago. I never got any help at an early age and subsequently spent my life depressed. I now have hope.
~ Anonymous

I’m grateful for the amount of love, kindness and great desire that you have to see us succeed and move forward from our past life. I say this with my cup overflowing with gratefulness towards the donors, volunteers, staff and prayer warriors. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
~ Raoul

Thank you for seeing a real need in our city and our lives and for doing something about it. I’m grateful for the light that shines bright due to your generosity through Freedom’s Door. Without that light the world would be a much darker and cruel place for me and many more like me.
~ Shaun

Without the Friends of Freedom’s Door there would be no Freedom’s Door. This place has changed my life in so many ways and because of your generosity my mother can sleep at night without worrying and my daughter has her father back. I will never forget what you have done for me and my loved ones.
~ Jake


Recommended Posts