Shawn remembers last summer’s heat wave very well. He was staying at The Ottawa Mission at the time and considered himself lucky to have a place to stay. But he also remembers the tremendous efforts of staff at The Mission to help everyone they could – handing out thousands of bottles of water, and patrolling the neighbourhood telling people to come inside for a break from the heat, or to seek medical care. And Shawn knows from personal experience that The Mission is always there when people need help the most.
At just 33 years old, Ottawa-born Shawn has experienced a lot of hardship in his life. He was raised in a family where both parents suffered from addiction. He was exposed to drugs at an early age, and eventually succumbed to addiction himself. He has spent many years homeless and in the shelter system.
This year, Shawn made the decision to fight back against his addiction. He began attending The Mission’s Day Program where, in addition to group sessions held on weekday mornings, clients can receive one on one counselling. Shawn also recently completed two months in our Stabilization unit, an abstinence-based program designed to assist men in stabilizing their lives and their addictive behaviour. As Shawn says,
“The Mission provided me with the structure, routine and care that I needed to make big changes in my life. And everyone here goes the extra mile for you.”
The icing on the cake for Shawn is that The Mission also helped Shawn find a safe and affordable place to live as he continues to receive treatment and rebuild his life, and he moved in this spring. This is the first time in 5 years that Shawn has a place to call his own!
Thanks to your generosity, things are finally turning around for Shawn. And he has a whole new life ahead of him!