I was greeted at the Alpha House by David, and was suggested the tour started in the shelter, as he could introduce me to a few staff members and see what they do for their shelter clients. I said sounds good, thanks, and followed him through a few doors and was introduced briefly to some nice staff members along the way in passing.
Once we walked into the Shelter, I was hit with a reality I won’t soon forget. Addiction is much worse than I am aware of. Feelings of sadness, loneliness, pain, suffering were immediate. 80-100+ people on a blue mat on a Tuesday afternoon in a room that resembles a warehouse for people to come to look for help. I did what I could to digest the moment and stay with David as we walked past shelter clients.
One thing I noticed early, and often was how happy the Alpha House staff are. Someone had once told me that Alpha House staff see the light in everyone, no matter what their story is. This was clear as day to me now, and I had an overwhelming feeling that this was an alignment of where I could help and support! Yet, the question of how was still on my mind, even early into this tour.
After spending some time in the shelter with David and a few other staff members, we had some very meaningful conversations about recovery and helping people in need. I was then asked if I wanted to see their detox and recovery program. At that moment, I was excited to see what the program looked like in person, and to see how the process of attempting recovery starts for those looking for a better life, away from very dangerous substances. We took the elevator upstairs to the room where the program was.
Within seconds of turning the corner, I was hit with an overwhelming calming, moment of clarity. This is it, this is where I can help! I saw staff/volunteers playing bingo with recovery clients anywhere from the age of 16-70+, laughing, encouraging involvement, and a recovery video playing on the TV for those not engaged in Bingo. I saw an office that looked like a medical room, where people were offered support and what looked to be constant check-up monitoring improvement.
This is where It aligns, this is where this crazy fundraising Idea can help make a difference, one of the puzzle pieces missing was found, and I was excited to get started in making an effort to support the Alpha House and addiction recovery by sharing my story, and hosting a fun event still to be determined, but the wheels were turning and I knew this is where I can help.
To Be Continued . . .
- James MacDonald