“My parents struggled with addiction most of their lives, and it ultimately took the life of my biological father.”
The perfect gift is unique to each individual, but the greatest gift of all can be the strength to save your own life.
“I am the only surviving member of my family,” says Jordan, a recovering addict and team lead at New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community operated by Our Place.
“My parents struggled with addiction most of their lives, and it ultimately took the life of my biological father,” Jordan explains. “My step-dad and mom got sober, but unfortunately both died of cancer. My brother died of a heroin overdose when he was 19. I was addicted to hard drugs, and I’ve (overdosed) twice.”
During his addiction, Jordan experienced homelessness, and was in hospital for weeks at a time.
“I did some really stupid things,” he says. “But in 2004, I took my first steps into recovery because of the example my parents showed me. They successfully got clean and showed me that it was possible. I’ve only had four pretty minor relapses since. The mind is hard to overcome sometimes. It takes time.”
Jordan has come a long way during his journey of recovery. He has a background in addictions recovery work in Surrey – where he’d often share his story publicly, inspiring hundreds of others to find hope. For the last two-and-a-half years, he’s been working at Our Place and New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community.
“My life’s work is to pass on what I’ve learned,” says Jordan. “A friend of mine describes it best: when you find the map in the minefield, you don’t just keep it for yourself. You walk back through the minefield, and you take others through safely. That is what I’m here to do.”
At New Roads, Jordan mentors residents through their own paths of recovery by showing them that there is hope and another side to the traumas they are each battling.
“There’s so much tragedy in addiction and I’ve been exposed to some of the ugliest,” he says. “But then there are also the victories. When someone’s failed so much in their life, all they need is for someone to believe in them. All the self-doubt that they have, their lack of self-esteem, they feel that they don’t deserve anything, or they feel that they’re just going to screw it up, so what’s the use? At New Roads, we’re there to show them that they are capable and that they matter. That’s why it’s so crucial to have key people in their lives who believe in them. We’ve got to be there for their victories.”
Victories are found and celebrated every day, together, at New Roads.
“We surround the residents as a community, and we really show them that we all care about them,” he says. “That’s where hope starts for these guys. It starts with love. We show them that you’ve got to draw towards the good, towards love. They begin to realize that the power of love, is more powerful than their addiction, and that power is what they need to follow. It’s my job to ask, ‘What if you step into happiness and in to love and start using that as your power instead?’”
From its humble beginnings as a simple downtown Victoria refuge, Our Place has grown from an inner-city community centre to employing 275+ staff and 250+ volunteers who operate a continuum of critical services in locations throughout the CRD.