My name is Cyril, and I’m 47 years old. 20 years ago, I lost my fiancé in Newfoundland. She passed away and I never really addressed the grief issues. I didn’t have support to help me through the grieving process, so I drank and travelled around. I worked here and there, but for the most part I used my earnings just to pay for my booze.
I actually stayed at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission for three months a few years ago.
Then, I moved into a campground and lived in a tent with my girlfriend. But she had a bad alcohol habit, too. We moved to Calgary for a bit, and we both fell back into drinking. Anyone who’s ever struggled with or been around addiction before knows that recovery isn’t a linear path.
At the time, I didn’t see that there were a lot of people trying to help me.
Right after the pandemic began, I knew that I wanted to return to Kelowna. When I came to town, I was drinking heavily—30 beers a day or so. Then one day I woke up and I just couldn’t do it anymore.
We turned to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission for help. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough room for us as a couple. Although we had to live outside, we interacted a lot with their outreach staff. Kelowna’s Gospel Mission staff made sure we felt supported regardless of space restrictions.
The staff was instrumental in getting me into a detox program. It’s amazing what 92 days sober can do. Now, I’ve been sober for almost ten months!
Kelowna’s Gospel Mission was there for me throughout my recovery. They even helped me find employment!
“Kelowna’s Gospel Mission was instrumental in getting me into a detox program. It’s amazing what 92 days sober can do. If you saw pictures of me before treatment and after treatment, you’d swear I wasn’t the same guy.”— Cyril
When you start over, especially after 20 years on the streets, there’s definitely an adjustment period. You have to re-learn how to navigate day-to-day life. Stuff like balancing your budget, paying your bills, you know?
Today, I run my own business in general contracting, and it’s going really well.
Lately I’ve noticed that faith is beginning to play a major role in my life. I find myself praying and believing more. Instead of worrying about the things that are out of my control, now I just leave it to God.
To all the donors, volunteers and staff who are looking out for folks like me, thank you. You guys were a major part of my recovery.