Getting a second chance at life

Fred accessed life-changing community services to help on his journey to recovery

“Losing my house and my kids was probably the hardest thing. I lost everything.

Following an arrest, I realized I was an addict and needed help. 

At the time, every penny I was making was spent on drugs. I was getting up in the morning, and before I was even out of bed, I would have already used… that was just to start my day. It was really bad. 

I actually thanked the cops when they arrested me, because now it could stop. Now my life could change and I started the process of getting clean. 

When I found out about what United Way could do, I was sitting inside a methadone clinic. I was talking to someone on the phone, saying, “I’m going to lose everything. I’ve got nothing. I might as well be dead.” 

I got in touch to learn more about what the program could do to support my recovery. In my research, I found connections with a United Way-funded agency where I was placed into counselling and rehabilitation services. 

The rehabilitation program was probably the most life-changing thing that has ever happened for me. After my first session, I felt the weight on my shoulders had been lifted.

If the program hadn’t stepped in when it did, I probably wouldn’t be here. That’s huge for me. That changed my life in one phone call.  

With the support of those community services, I am proud to have never relapsed in the 14 years since I began my recovery journey. 

If you would have asked me [then] if I would be sitting here today, I would have laughed.

I’m 14 years sober, that’s a huge achievement. I never thought that would be possible. United Way made that possible. My life changed, and it wasn’t changed by my hands alone. The hands of United Way were huge for me. 

We are all one issue away from needing the help that these networks provide. The community as a whole needs the type of help that United Way invests in.  

Now, I share my story to let people know about the services that they support through donations, and how they make an impact.” 

Help change lives today.

Melise BreretonFred’s Story

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