A soft place to land

by Maritime

Sixteen pillows and pillow cases donated by Saint Peter’s Anglican Church in Halifax are just the right amount for the number of men who can participate in the Anchorage Recovery Program at any given time at the Centre of Hope.

“We’re a small parish, but we look for opportunities to support those living in our community; it brings joy to us to be connected to something bigger than the walls of our church,” says Father Elliott Siteman. “We hope that having a new pillow on their beds will provide these men with comfort on their journey of recovery.”

Last year, the congregation, with help from Shirley Steves who is a member of the church’s Caring Committee donated bed sets and blankets to the Anchorage Recovery Program. She says, “We recognize that something as little as a pillow can make a difference in people’s lives.”

As sixteen participants navigate through their recovery process, which follows a Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) — a client-centered approach for substance use and treatment,
a comfortable place to sleep is very meaningful to them. The CRA program includes spiritual care and counselling, motivational and cognitive training, and a lot of hard personal work. This approach essentially “replaces the short-term positive effects of substance abuse with the long-term positive effects of a life of sobriety.”

“When the guys first arrive, they share a dorm style room and as they move forward in the program, they move to a single room, which is a sign of their leadership and accomplishments,” says Paul Surette, Program Supervisor. “As they complete the program and transition into the community, the men can take a bedding set with them to help get them started on the next phase of their life journey.”

When the men transition through the CRA program, they are provided with after care for a minimum of six months to further help them get on a positive life track. This past September, a transition ceremony saw two men successfully completing the program and an upcoming ceremony will take place later this month.

“The community essentially works together to support one another and help the men integrate into the community,” says Paul. “It’s people helping people, helping people; we’re so grateful for the generosity of Saint Peter’s Anglican Church.”