Nov 5, 2020

Your Gift has helped Fresh Start Grow to help More People Recover

Ci Top 100 with link
Ci Top 100 with link

As promised, here is the rest of the story ...

Your support has meant a great deal to the men that we serve, it has helped us continue to deliver award winning treatment for the disease of addiction to drugs and alcohol and you have helped us to get to the position where we are now delivering our life saving, 14-16 week treatment program to people (men AND women) in the Lethbridge area.

An excerpt from the press release follows:

"Fresh Start Recovery Centre Calgary is pleased to announce their merger/acquisition of the South Country Treatment Centre in Lethbridge County Alberta. Combining Fresh Start’s programming and leadership with South Country’s history and facilities makes for a recipe for successful long-term addiction recovery in Lethbridge.  

South Country Treatment Centre (SCTC) has been operating in Lethbridge since 1976, yet the opioid crisis has resulted in an immediate need to increase the capacity of our facility. Fresh Start Recovery Centre has helped impact and recover many lives in Calgary these past 28 years and we are confident that they have the knowledge, experience and ability necessary to expand and modernize the operations of SCTC to meet the increasing demand for a recovery-oriented system of care in Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. The Board of SCTC is looking forward to transitioning its operations to Fresh Start for the benefit of our community and our staff.” John R. King SCTC Board Chair."

Refer to that attached Press Release for the full story.

On November 2nd, Charity Intelligence Canada announced that Fresh Start is again a top-rated Five Star agency as well as a Canadian Top 100 Agency.

Thanks for your being a part of this great news and stay tuned for our GivingTuesday (December 1, 2020) messaging around "Recovery Behind the Mask".

Kindest Regards,

Wayne Steer

Recovery Behind the Mask
Recovery Behind the Mask

Nov 2, 2020

Your support helps Fresh Start grow

Recovery Behind the Mask
Recovery Behind the Mask

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill

These are words that embody the spirit of the men and families who turn to Fresh Start for the help, guidance, wisdom, encouragement and courage to overcome the devastating impact of the disease of addiction.

These words also exemplify the spirit of our staff who continue their own path of lifetime recovery to provide a lifeline through hope, guidance and inspiration.

Your support makes it possible for the Fresh Start staff to provide that way out and start then on their path of long-term recovery … even in these challenging times. 

There is no doubt that this year has presented some significant challenges with COVID-19. During this time, the management and staff at Fresh Start have been able to respond to the challenge, implement the protocols and procedures necessary to ensure that the men we serve are safe, the programs continue to run and the people we serve receive the same high standard of care and support that we delivered prior to COVID-19 coming on the scene.  

You have helped to ensure that this happens. 

The good news is that others have noticed that courage to continue ... and even thrive. As a result of that, Fresh Start will soon be growing and expanding to another geographic area.   

The news of the where is imminent, but you will have to wait until next week to find out the details. 

Because you have been such a great supporter, I wanted to give you a heads up and thank you for the support that has allowed us to do well in this time. 

Like the saying goes "Success is not final ..." and with your continued trust and support Fresh Start will maintain " ... the courage to continue ..." 

Stay tuned for the announcement.



Jul 15, 2020

Keeping All Healthy During COVID-19 (Zero Cases)

Physical Isolation not Social Isolation
Physical Isolation not Social Isolation

The picture above shows one of our men adhering to Alberta Health Services (AHS) regulations while he visits with his daughter through Fresh Start's front door during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is just one sign of the dramatic changes that have taken place since our last report to you and we wanted to share with you the great work that you have helped Fresh Start complete to protect the men and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We would also like you to invite you to consider joining some of our generous donors who are making it possible for you to make an even bigger difference to help man and family members - like the ones above - during the July Bonus Day on July 15th.

Safety First

On March 13th of this year Fresh Start immediately implemented AHS safety measures to protect against COVID-19 and keep men and family members safe. The plan was simple but not easy; it called for - among other things - increased cleaning of the facility, all staff who had contact with those in our care to wear personal protective equipment (masks and gloves) and sanitize frequently throughout the day as well as taking precautionary measures while away from Fresh Start.

Fresh Start's swift and decisive action paid off and we have experienced zero (0) cases of COVID-19.

Connection between Isolation and Addiction

Our Executive Director, Stacey Petersen, often quotes Johann Hari when he says, “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; the opposite of addiction is connection” and “Addiction is a disease of isolation”.

While physical distancing within Fresh Start has proven to be effective in keeping COVID-19 at bay, social distancing in our community and communities across Canada has done much to isolate people and promote increased alcohol and drug consumption.

Recent Notice from Alberta Health Services

Drug and Alcohol Use has gone UP in the last three months. Increased isolation leads to an increase in the use of drugs and alcohol. Fresh Start has been made aware of increased usage from a couple of sources. On June 4th 2020, Alberta Health Services informed Fresh Start that they had “ … recently seen a higher than average number of opioid-related EMS responses in the Calgary Zone, particularly in the Local Geographic Area (LGA) of CALGARY – LOWER NE. At this time, there is no specific information available on the substance, its description, or the observed reactions. This information is being shared for awareness purposes only.”

At the same time, sales of alcohol have shot up 30%.

The idea that Social distancing fuels increased alcohol and drug consumption is confirmed by the dramatic increase in demand for recovery. 

Demand for Recovery is Up and Growing

Fresh Start has experienced a huge surge in the demand for recovery services through our wait list which usually sits at 120 men waiting for treatment that could save their lives. Recent wait list numbers have shot up 150% to 180, a number we have not seen since Calgary’s last large-scale traumatic event - the 2013 “100 Year Flood”.

Future Need for Treatment

Our experience tells thus that the need and demand are far greater than what they see on our wait list, but the size and growth of that wait list are good indicators of the magnitude of the problem in our community.

There is no doubt that Fresh Start will need more resources to handle the increased demand for services including treatment as well as post treatment housing and outreach support. 

Dedicated Donors committed to leverage your donation by 100%

The Matt Rumpel Family Foundation (2019 Doc Seaman Individual Philanthropist Award sponsored by Calgary Foundation), the Sam Ousher Switzer Charitable Foundation (Calgary 2013 Lifetime Philanthropist), Lois and Dick Haskayne (Calgary 2004 Outstanding Lifetime Philanthropist) and The Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation understand this need and have collectively pledged $335,000 to match your donation dollar for dollar until August 31st so that recovery is accessible to those who need and want treatment but can’t afford it.

(Note: All donors listed above have given permission for their names to be mentioned as they believe it can help inspire others like you to join them).

Your donation will go even further on July 15th through GlobalGiving's Bonus Day as follows: 

  • Donations of $100 - $499 USD will be matched at 15% + 115% = 230%
  • Donations of $500 - $749 USD will be matched at 30% + 130% = 260%
  • Donations of $750 - $1,000 USD will be matched at 50% + 150% = 300%

Thank you for your consideration and as always, Thanks for you past support in making a difference in the lives of so many! 


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