Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men

by Fresh Start Recovery Centre
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Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
Your gift delivers #GratefulRecovery to 18 Men
2020 Numbers Amid Pandemic
2020 Numbers Amid Pandemic

Your support has helped Fresh Start maintain a high standard of care throughout the Pandemic over the past 16 months.

In 2019, Fresh Start served 167 people in our award-winning, 12 Step drug and alcohol addiction treatment program and in 2020, we were able to help 149 people - only 18 fewer people.

 This number is astounding considering that Covid-19 protocol on entry and detox had to be completely revamped to a system whereby detox was extended from a period of fewer than 5 days to a 14 day wait as detox was effectively converted to a quarantine period to ensure that new people entering Fresh Start would not expose the existing clients to Covid-19.

At the same time, the demand for services has increased dramatically. At the time of the printing of the 2020 Annual Report (April of 2021), the wait list had grown by almost 36% to 163 people and that number was dramatically lower than the Covid high of over 200 people on the wait list.

A February 2021 study by Ipsos highlighted how Canadians were struggling with addiction as follows:

The study says “Sixteen per cent (16%) of Canadians report they find themselves struggling with addiction issues such as alcohol or drugs, more than they did before the pandemic. That number is most acute among younger Canadians aged 18-34, where close to a quarter (24%) say they are struggling with addiction issues. Middle aged Canadians (35-54) also report challenges as two in ten (20%) say they are struggling with addiction issues. There are no significant variations by region, gender or by those who have kids at home.

The national number for those who report struggling with addiction is relatively unchanged since November (19% in November compared to 16% in February), but men (24% in November compared to 18% in February) and those with kids at home (25% in November compared to 19% in February) appear to be faring better now than they were before. Nonetheless, a significant portion of the population in certain groups appear to be facing down not only COVID-19 and the anxieties and mental health challenges that come with it, but also issues around dependency that may persist after the pandemic.”

Thanks to you and your support, GlobalGiving recently entrusted $20,000 USD to Fresh Start to continue to help people struggling with alcohol and drug addiction in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic with our 46% greater capacity as a result of acquiring a second treatment facility in Souhern Alberta in November of 2020.

Fresh Start and the people we serve are truly grateful for the direct and indirect support that you have helped to make possible.



Wayne Steer

Director of Fund development

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Fort McMurray Flooding in 2020
Fort McMurray Flooding in 2020

2020 was a tough year for most of us with respect to COVID-19 pandemic, social isolation and elements of social unrest in many parts of the world and with your help, Fresh Start Recovery Centre was able to help.

For some places like a small city in Northern Alberta, an extra layer of trauma was added and your support as well as the $2,413.26 USD of support from the GlobalGiving Funding Opportunity: Flooding in Fort McMurray and Fort Vermilion, Alberta, Canada helped some of the most severely traumatized.

Between April 28th and 29th of 2020 an ice jam that formed on the Athabasca River caused massive flooding causing over 11.6% of the population to flee their saturated homes. Costs from the flooding were estimated to be $522 million CDN ($383M US) in insured damages, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

You and the GlobalGiving family were able to help 7 men from the Fort McMurray area who reached out to us and specifically help 3 men access Fresh Start’s national award-winning program for addiction treatment for the first week of their treatment and, for two of them, to continue on and complete their 16 weeks of intensive self discovery to change their lives in a COVID-19 compliant environment.

As someone who has been directly impacted by flooding (June 2013 Calgary Floods), I know firsthand the devastating impact that floods and fires have on individuals and families. I also know that the true realization of this traumatic event does not sink in until after the “busy work” of dealing with insurance companies, government and social agencies as well as contractors subsides.

We know from the work that we have done for the past 28 years that we will see greater need from this area of Alberta arising in the days and weeks to come and we are grateful for the support from people like you who make it possible for us to be here when that need arises.

Thanks for your continued support!!!

Wayne Steer, Director of Fund Development

Outcomes of people impacted by Fort McMurray Flood
Outcomes of people impacted by Fort McMurray Flood
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Recovery Behind the Mask
Recovery Behind the Mask

One year ago, few had heard of Covid-19: today few have not been touched by it in one way or another.

In Alberta (Canada), where Fresh Start Recovery Centre operates, our community has been deeply impacted both directly and indirectly and chances are you have been greatly affected by this pandemic.

Given these challenging times, your support has been even more significant, and we are grateful to you for this support.

In our business of housing, treating and supporting people affected by addiction, we have not experienced and direct impact; to date we have not experienced any cases of Covid-19 in our treatment centres*1 thanks to the measures we have been able to take with support from your donation and guidance by Alberta Health Services.

Rat Park Author – Bruce K. Alexander - is quoted as saying that “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; it’s connection”. Physical and often social isolation have created an environment whereby people have not been able to interact in a meaningful way, have felt a heightened level of emptiness and discontent and turned to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with this. Over time, this coping mechanism has developed into a habit and the disease of addiction.

Fresh Start has seen growing evidence of this as the pandemic has progressed. Over the past year, Fresh Start’s wait list of people wanting treatment for their disease of addiction has gone from pre-pandemic averages close to 120 to a count of 217 on March 11, 2021 … that is almost an 81% increase over the “norm”.

Since November of 2020, our bed capacity grew from 50 beds to 73 with the addition of Fresh Start South Country in Lethbridge. In 2019, we were able to provide treatment to 167 men and in the period between March 11, 2020 and March 11, 2021, the added capacity in Lethbridge allowed us to treat 179 men.

Rough numbers indicate a completion rate around 80% for this same “Covid-19 period”; something that we have been able to maintain with your help and the help of others in the GlobalGiving community and beyond.

While we have treated people as young as 18 and as experienced as 65 in this period, our mean (36 years), median (34 years) and mode (34 years) has remained consistent.

We continue to be grateful for you and your support as we continue to successfully house, treat and support those affected by addiction.

Thank you!

Wayne Steer, Director of Fund Development

*1 – In Calgary with the addition of Lethbridge on November 3, 2020.

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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

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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.



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Organization Information

Fresh Start Recovery Centre

Location: Calgary, AB - Canada
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @FreshStartRC
Project Leader:
Rod Garossino
Calgary, AB Canada
$25,724 raised of $99,000 goal
278 donations
$73,276 to go
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