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A few years ago, Pierre woke up on a park bench in the rain in Simcoe, Ontario. He was addicted, homeless and suicidal. His childhood was one marked by a dysfunctional family, a poor education, and little or no affection. And he had forgotten how to smile. But that night he felt a glimmer of hope. He says it was a sign from God, and he somehow found the strength to reach out for the help he needed to change his life.

He came to Ottawa for treatment of his addiction and, while in treatment, he learned about The Ottawa Mission’s Second Stage Housing program. This program offers transitional housing to men in recovery who need time to prepare for re-entry into the community. At our Second Stage houses, a group of six men cook, clean and re-learn how to look after themselves. They also receive regular support from Ottawa Mission staff as they continue their journey.

Pierre was welcomed into Second Stage – and it was a time, he says, that transformed his life. The care he received had an amazing impact on him. “Working with people at The Mission has taught me so much. It has taught me that there are good people willing to help if only you ask. And they have given me the tools I need for a better life.”

Pierre is now living in his own place, attending church, going back to school, and looking forward to his future. As Pierre says, “I am so proud to say that I am now over 2 years sober. I thank God and The Mission for saving my life. Today I have many reasons to smile.”

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