André will never forget the day he learned that his mother had lost her battle with cancer. He was only 17 when it happened.
Without the right kind of support, André was unable to process his pain properly. All he could do was try to numb it any way he could, and drugs were the thing that worked best.
For years, André moved through life as a functional addict. He found a job, he moved out on his own, he even fell in love and got married. But underneath it all, his pain and his addiction grew, eventually straining every relationship he had.
When André’s wife divorced him, he was shattered. But he wasn’t ready to let go of the drugs. And if he couldn’t do that, his friends and family made it clear that he had nowhere else to go.
Since then, ten long years have passed. And André has spent most of them struggling to get by living on the streets.
André was camping in a small tent in front of the Hotel Place Dupuis when Welcome Hall Mission outreach workers approached him with an invitation. “We’re a part of a new initiative called Program Bienvenue. Would you be interested in letting us help you find somewhere to live?” they asked.
André couldn’t believe his ears.
After being placed in housing, participants like André also receive help with rent and groceries for the first three months, and have access to ongoing, individualized support designed to give them all the tools they need to start fresh.
Finding a way to rebuild had felt impossible to André for so many years, so he was determined not to waste this opportunity. “This is my second chance,” says André. “I will hold my end up. I’ve suffered enough and I want to start a new chapter in my life.”
Today, we’re proud to tell you that André is not only living independently, he now has a job at the Mission that he loves. He’s a thriving part of a transition program called Micro Entreprise where he’s learning to cook and work in the kitchen along with many other skills.
There is still a long road ahead for André, but he won’t have to walk it alone.
He continues to heal through counselling and one-on-one sessions with the Mission’s intervention workers.