From Under the Influence to Well-Being and Employment: Transformation is taking place at Place of Hope

My name is Edwin Romero. I am 39 years old, a current resident at Place of Hope, and part of the 1st Steps to Employment Program. I am in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse and have been sober for over 4 years now.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Place of Hope and the wonderful people who work here. They are helping to make great changes in those who wish to better their lives. Thank you Crystal, Susan, Rev. Margaret and Ida.

I recently graduated from CDI College in the field of Addiction and Community Service Worker, a 16 month full time course.

I have been living at Place of Hope since August 2015 which is when I started at CDI College. I was so happy to be in a safe and sober place through my early recovery years. This environment has been the key to my success in completing my secondary education and also in staying clean and sober. I have no words to express how grateful I feel to be at Place of Hope.

42332886-BC71-4EC6-B5E3-C5A48FF8B435 (1)I made a mistake when I left Place of Hope in April 2017. I was not ready to leave. I was accepted back 10 days after I left. I don’t know where I’d be now if Susan had not offered those keys to my suite; if Crystal had not been checking in on me and; if Rev. Margaret had not approved my re-entry. We have a great community here that’s well organized. Their support while I was in school was so helpful. My first language is Spanish, academics were not easy for me and learning English was hard. Sometimes, Susan brought food right to my door. Crystal was there to listen to me and empower me during my times of frustration.

The staff understand that we make terrible mistakes yet help us to turn our lives around. Ten years ago, I got a DUI (driving under influence) following a staff Christmas party and some other police charges that put me in the Criminal Record loop. Finding a job has not been easy because of this. I was addicted to alcohol.

I have since completed the full addictions recovery course and got my driver’s license back. With the support of staff, I am in the process to remove my criminal record. I graduated in June 2017 from a CDI and I have a job at the front desk of a Winnipeg motel. I have been transformed.

We need programs like this in our community! I thank all the donors and people who contribute to  Place of Hope and the 1st Steps to Employment Program. To have a better society, we need the place and time to deal with underlying issues. Thank you for the opportunity to do this in my life!

-Edwin Romero Flores

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