Melchor grew up in the Philippines on a farm. While his parents cared for the livestock and crops, he looked after his four siblings. Mel finished high school, got married, then he and his wife, Alicia, followed his mother to live in Spain.
In Spain, Mel began working in restaurants. The stress, long hours and restaurant culture sent him down a destructive path of using cocaine, crystal meth and gambling.
Eventually Mel and Alicia moved to Montreal. He continued to work in restaurants, and continued to use drugs. The drug use took its toll and Mel suffered a life-threatening seizure. After an emergency surgery, he was hospitalized for two months. To support her husband, Alicia gave up their apartment, moved in with her mother-in-law and urged Mel to get help.
When Mel was discharged, he checked into a rehabilitation facility and started a 28-day program. He enjoyed the atmosphere and felt supported, but as soon as he graduated, he went straight out to find a dealer.
Alicia took him to a Montreal hospital where a team of social workers directed him back to rehab. This time, Mel had a breakthrough, and realized how much was at stake—he had three grown children, two grandsons, and a patient, loving wife. He decided to do the work and make the tough decisions needed to start over.
This time, after rehab his social worker suggested he try the Residence Bon Accueil Rehabilitation Program at Welcome Hall Mission. That began 18 of the best months of his life. Mel enjoyed the non-judgmental support of intervention workers and for the first time, he felt he might be strong enough to turn his life around.
Mel’s faith was also renewed during his time at the Mission. He found comfort in reading the Bible. His wife’s name, Alicia, means noble. One of his favourites verses is from Proverbs 31 that says, “A wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her…”
Mel and Alicia are now living together in a new apartment. Mel is thrilled to be living autonomously again and is determined to continue to make healthy choices. Both Mel and Alicia are grateful to the Mission and its encouraging community for helping Mel to get his life back on track.
Thank you for supporting Mel and others like him. What a difference your generosity makes!
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