Helping men with addiction

The Calgary Dream Centre is a non-profit, Christian faith-based organization that is dedicated to helping men get back on their feet.

“The staff here is… tremendous, they’re really good people,” said Steven Jones, a recovering addict. “They care and that means a lot to someone like myself.”

Jones started the Calgary Dream Centre’s 90-day recovery program back in August. His 90-days sober was on Nov. 23.

“When I went to private treatment centres they didn’t really care if you relapsed and kept coming back. [At] $22,000 a pop they want you coming back,” said Jones. “This place doesn’t want you coming back, they want you to deal with your crap.”

The Calgary Dream Centre, located on Macleod Trail.

Photo by: Taylor Haahr

The Calgary Dream Centre operates out of a building that was once a hotel on Macleod Trail said Moore; the building has capacity for 125 men and they offer two programs: a treatment program and a transitional short-term housing program.

Inspired by the Dream Centre in Los Angeles, Gary Charmichael, the Calgary Dream Centre’s program director explained they were encouraged to start with men, once they had the “men figured out” then helping women was a possibility.

“We didn’t need to reinvent the wheel,” said Charmichael adding that there are already “great organizations” out there for women in need.

The treatment program gives men struggling with addiction the tools to get back into society and function in a “self-supporting manner”, said Charmichael.

In the treatment program, courses on things such as: alcohol and drug education, stress, emotional well being and negative emotions are offered said Charmichael.

“If a group has a special interest or maybe one aspect of addiction then we can… tailor [the courses to] that,” said Charmichael who also teaches an “elective” course.

The transitional housing program, called supportive housing, gives men the opportunity to live at the dream center $450 which includes shared accommodations and meals. They are given the opportunity to participate in some of the classes that are offered to men in the treatment program if they wish and their time permits it said Charmichael.

Charmichael said that there are about 25 men participate in treatment program while the other hundred participate in the transitional housing.

“Some people are here financially to get on their feet,” explained Charmichael. “Other people have graduated from the treatment program and they need a safe, clean [place] to maintain their sobriety.”

“The Dream Centre gives men hope,” said Jim Moore the CEO and executive director, “Without [a] sobriety model, men would just continue on a path of destruction.”

Charmichael said graduates from the treatment program often drop by to say thanks or keep in touch using social networking sites such as Facebook to let the centre know how they’re doing.

“Each of our miracles have faces,” said Charmichael.

thaahr@cjournal.ca

Editors note: The name Charmichael was misspelled on the third reference; the name was corrected on December 20, 2011