LIFE Recovery Association would not be what it is today without the help & dedication of many, many volunteers, especially the store volunteers, board members, donors & staff. We have been blessed with a group that has run a yearly golf tournament since LIFE began in 1999. We have subcommittees of volunteers for our extravagant fundraising GALA, which began in 2007. Both events raise amazing amounts yearly. Furthermore, there have been many mini house improvement projects & generous gifts for the homes. In-house & community programs like bible studies & Alpha run by volunteers continue to blessed our clients with hope. Other key supporters: Local churches, businesses, families of past clients as well as the BC Provincial Government in the form of grants.
1999. FEBUARY 22. LIFE Recovery Association become a legal society.
The vision: address the addictions of alcohol & drugs by recognizing we are all sinners, in need of God in every aspect of life, including treatment. Hence, LIFE Recovery’s focus from the beginning has been to have both: missional & supportive recovery. It all began when some volunteers from a church took turns helping a man, then a woman, survive detox. Soon it became apparent that there was a greater need for Christian, abstinence programming for women than men. With the help of a pastor from Trinity Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and financial support from 2 businessmen of the Canadian Reformed Church, Mercedes Guest House was purchased (currently known now as “Braeside” House). Thus, in this partnership, a multi-denominational board was formed. The spirit of partnership continues strong today, with several churches working together to keep LIFE Recovery going.
For years, the board struggled. Paying rent or paying staff…UNTIL….
2005. April 1. The Social Enterprise, “LIFE’s Second Chance Thrift Store”, was created.
After years of struggling, one of the board members felt called to consider opening a thrift store. Despite the lack of knowledge, within a week of the thought, the knowledge came in the form of experienced advisors. Three months later, “LIFE’s Second Chance Thrift Store” was born. The store has become the social enterprise to help finance LIFE’s Recovery programs.
2013. March 21. Blessings abound. A "Second Stage" Home on Melmar was purchased (formally Psalm 23).
Over the years, the society realized clients were graduating the program but ended up relapsing as their only option was to return to the living conditions of their addictive lifestyle. The organization responded by offering a second stage program for women who completed the first stage home but had nowhere safe to go, to continue their recovery process. Initially, it was designated strictly for “alumni” of LIFE Recovery but it has since expanded to anyone who has completed the 12-step program and is screened as a good “fit” for the women-only home called “Melmar”. This home accommodates up to 5 women plus a live-in caregiver for 24-7 oversight (a “house-mom” model). The second stage serves as a supportive recovery home on a more long-term basis.
2013. APRIL 9TH. Licensed under the Assisted Living Registrar for Mental Health & Addictions.
Braeside became licensed under the new Community Care and Assisted Living Act for people with mental health & addiction issues (new licensing option for recovery homes under the Ministry of Health). Licensed for 9 double-occupancy beds (18 total).
2017. July 4. Blessing continue. A "Third Stage" Home on Westerly was purchased. The focus of this home is safe, sober, affortable-living with arms-length accountability. This option is for those who need/want continued support in their recovery journey & have demonstrated the maturity for more independence. The home has a live-in house mom, but the oversight is minimal. Clients are expected to uphold the Christian values & principles while they re-integrate back into society.