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Starting Fresh

Addiction  led Bill as far away from his loved ones as he could get.  Now thanks to your gifts and support, recovery is helping him find a road back.

Bill brick wall_cropped

July 26, 2013 That is a date Bill will never forget. On that day he made a commitment to stop using a drug that had all but destroyed his life after staying at Mission Services’ shelter for men. “I came to the Mission because I knew they would accept me,” Bill remembers.” That’s how my long journey home started”

If you meet Bill in person, he would strike you right away as a kind-hearted soul. He listens carefully and speaks earnestly. It’s possible he gained some of these traits while working at his recovery which – as Bill willingly admits – has challenged him in more ways than he could have imagined. He shows an incredible degree for self-reflection today. But that was not always the case.

When Bill was in high school, he became caught up in a cycle of partying and drinking that spilled into his adult life. At 21 he had a daughter. But he still continued to party heavily with friends and co-workers. One night someone pulled out crack cocaine and passed it around. Bill tried it and was hooked immediately.

Over the next couple of years, Bill’s partying escalated. Bill went to a rehab centre and finished the program, but he relapsed before he made it home.

“My employer was incredibly supportive during that time,” Bill recalls. “He had to fire more than once. But he kept working with me – hoping I would stabilize.”

Finally, Bill’s girlfriend told him that if he didn’t get clean, she would leave him and take their daughter. Bill tried rehab once more, but relapsed again.

She left him, and Bill lost his job for the last time.

Now, I had to do anything I could to get money to fund my addiction. I did things I’m not proud of. I stole from my parents and went to jail for extortion and robbery,” Bill explains. “When I lost my daughter though, that scared me. I went to a detox centre and was referred to Mission Services.”


 Bill shows off one of the tattoos he had made in recovery.

When Asked what feels different this time around, Bill invariable talks about the people he met in recovery at Mission Services’ Bearinger Place. “I met guys who put hope in me,” he says. “I’ve had a spiritual awakening, thanks to their encouragement and the staff who actually cared about me.”

Foremost among the staff Bill praises is Corrie McIlveen, his case manager. “She never let me get away with anything,” Bill says. “She knew how to turn any negative thing around and challenge me on a daily basis.”

Most of all, Corrie recalls Bill’s effort to succeed: “He worked hard in his program and was extremely motivated to fully commit to his recovery, and better himself as a human being.”

” Now I have hope” Bill says. “I take one day at a time and pray every morning and do my favourite readings. I’ve had many close friends die. I know there’s a higher power because I’m still here.”

 Bill and Correy

Bill and his case manager, Corrie

Bill Recently moved out of Bearinger Place and into his own apartment. The transition has proven challenging in its own ways. He left the supportive circle he had at the Mission. But he still keeps in contact with Corrie and he speaks to groups at Narcotics Anonymous almost every week.

“I’m also trying to spend lots of my time with my family to build back those relationships,” Bill says. “I ‘ve taken so much from them over the years, all I want to do now is to give back. I’m even working on repairing my relationship with my daughter.”


Bill asked us to share these words with the people who donate to Mission Services’ Shelter: “Because of what you give, you save a lot of lives. I truly believe you’ve been sent to us from God. I only wish there were more people like you. Donors are why we eat every day; it’s why we are still here. Thank you.”