Oct 22, 2018

3rd Quarter Update - #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men

Chart of 9 month success
Chart of 9 month success

Your gifts help so many people in ways you could not even imagine.

Dion C is an example of a young member of Canada’s Indigenous or Aboriginal community (comprising First Nations, Métis and Inuk or Inuit people) that Fresh Start helps. Aboriginal Peoples comprise 3.13% of the general population in the Calgary metropolitan area. Almost 20% of the men on our wait list are Aboriginal men and more than 15% of the men that Fresh Start houses, treats and supports are of either First Nations, Métis and Inuk heritage.

Many young people face a tremendous amount of trauma in their youth and turn to drugs and alcohol to dull the pain of the traumatic experiences. Dion faced more trauma than most young Aboriginal men; his father left the family before Dion turned one and his mother died when he was twelve years old.

Dion’s family stepped in to provide love and support and raise him, but the loss of both of his parents was heavy and outweighed his family’s love and support. Shortly after he lost his mother Dion began experimenting with alcohol and drugs, hanging out with other young people who used both heavily and his life spiraled downhill.

Dion’s family, and particularly his grandmother, tried to convince him to get away from home and find someplace where he could get away from the drugs, alcohol and the “friends” that would surely lead to his early death; they urged him to start a new life for himself.

Dion heard of this place our West in Alberta called Fresh Start and made the first step in turning his life around. Dion’s determination earned him a bed at Fresh Start and he did the work to change his life completely.

Now he has a job he loves, a life that he is proud of and hope for a very bright future.

Dion’s family was recently in Calgary to celebrate his first full year of sobriety on his road to long term recovery and a future none of them ever thought he would have.

Your support helped provide the services for Dion’s recovery.

Thank you for your kind and generous support 

Kindest Regards,


Wayne Steer, Director of Fund Development

Ps: Watch for news this week of how your investment in Fresh Start makes a huge impact  


Jul 25, 2018

Your Impact, 6 Months into #GratefulRecovery

Darius & Family photo - Taken at Alumni BBQ May 26
Darius & Family photo - Taken at Alumni BBQ May 26

Darius found that his life was unmanageable and wanted treatment for his disease so that he could be a better father to his children and partner for their mother. After completing the course, Darius has a renewed sense of confidence, commitment to family and appreciation for maintaining positive health and sobriety; he just recently celebrated the successful completion of his program (Gratitude). Now, Darius’ kids have their dad back for good.

Thank you again for contributing to Fresh Start’s GlobalGiving Campaign - “Your Gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men” – this past December.

You helped cover just over 46% of the costs of one (1) man’s recovery. This report gives you a snapshot of all the people Fresh Start served and saved in the first six months of 2018. (Men who entered the program on or after January 1st and left or remained prior to or on June 30th, 2018.

People Finding #GratefulRecovery

Since January 1st 484 unique individuals have contacted Fresh Start seeking treatment for their chronic illness of addiction. 81 (16.7%) of these men were welcomed into Fresh Start. 58 either completed, or are scheduled to complete, their program (completion rate above 70%, greater than the sector average between 5% and 10%).

During this period, more than half of the men are young (under 35), with the potential for a full, happy, productive life ahead of them. Approximately half reported alcohol as their “drug of choice”; this tends to fluctuate. Over 54% reported living in their own homes or with family or friends prior to coming to Fresh Start and 16% reported being First Nations, Innuit or Metis.

The cost of 16 weeks of treatment is $17,876.54 per person. The cost of successful program completion is effectively $24, 965 CDN per success (or $18,985 US * June 30th exchange rate).

See for Yourself

The video link below takes you on a tour through Fresh Start’s program, introduces you to some men who have been through the program and now deliver it, lets you hear from those who have had their lives transformed by the program and shows you how Fresh Start began and evolved into one of Canada’s most effective and most economical treatment centres.


Mr. Stacey Petersen, RSW                                                         Wayne Steer

Executive Director                                                                       Director of Fund Development

#GratefulRecovery Results 2018 (first 6 months)
#GratefulRecovery Results 2018 (first 6 months)


Apr 24, 2018

The Impact of your #GratefulRecovery Donation

Fresh Start Results - Q1 2018
Fresh Start Results - Q1 2018

Thank YOU!

Your donation during the December 2017 GlobalGiving Accelerator has made a lasting impact on 38 of 49 men at Fresh Start during the first 90 days of 2018. These men were able to successfully practice their continuous pursuit of recovery.

For 21 of these men, your support has contributed towards the successful completion of their 12 Step program and reboot their lives to return to their families, get back to work, find a new job or enroll a program to further their education. 

For the other 17 who were still in the program as of March 31st, your support has helped them progress in their program and will be a contributing factor to their anticipated success.

While each story is different - and it is pretty early to give you the long-term impact on these 38 men - here is one story that will serve to give you an idea of the power that YOU have.

My name is Chris and I am a recovering addict. I am also so much more than that! I am a son, a brother, a sponsor, a sponsee, and a student at a university.

When I was a child I suffered from an undiagnosed reading disability. I struggled in school and would act out in my frustration. This led to constant disciplinary actions; by grade six, I was suspended indefinitely. By grade eight, I was using marijuana daily and drinking whenever possible. This continued for another year until I left high school permanently and moved out of my parents’ home. While working midnight shifts at sixteen years old, I met people who frequented the bars and I promptly made friends with them. This became my ticket into heavy partying and daily drug use –which lasted until I was twenty-five and my health finally failed.

My declining health was the catalyst for me to change. I wanted to return to school and retrain for a desk job. I attended Bow Valley College in Calgary and completed my high school diploma, then moved on to SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) for accounting studies. I was able to get a great entry level job in accounting and things were starting to look up. Substances were no longer a part of my life. As my physical health started to improve, I returned to substances to deal with mental stressors. Within two years, I was back in declining health –this was the point my family helped me find the doors of Fresh Start.

Fresh Start has taught me how to “Live life on life's terms”. I was guided through the 12-Steps of AA and met others like me. I am now in my third year of sobriety and things have never looked brighter. I have returned to University and this time I have been properly assessed and diagnosed for my learning disabilities. The accommodations I receive have allowed me to achieve the grades necessary to make the Dean's and President’s lists for academic achievement in 2017.

It's kind of ironic but thanks to recovery the "Stupid kid" is now near the top of the class, helping others who are struggling with school.

"Thank you, Fresh Start, and you who took the step to help people like me get a second chance at a good life! I am forever grateful!"

This is #GratefulRecovery in action and your support is helping 38 others create their unique stories of Gratitude.

Early in May we will be sharing our 2017 Annual Report and a 25th Anniversary video ... we hope you enjoy both.

Until then,

The Staff at Fresh Start Recovery Centre and all we serve remain grateful for your support.

Kindest Regards,   



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