A Lethbridge man once caught in the grips of drug addiction is now helping those who are on their own road to recovery. Alvin Mills not only shares words of encouragement with those struggling to overcome addiction but shows his support — one meal at a time.
“I’m starting my seventh year of recovery. I’ve struggled with the drugs, I’ve struggled with the alcohol and now I’m in the position where I can help my people,” said Mills, founder of the organization Foundation of Hope.
Seeing others around him struggle with addiction while he got clean led Mills to want to give back.
“I know how it feels to be on the street. I have had that feeling, (it’s) a struggle I’ve been in. The people that we’re focusing on, I’ve been in their shoes,” he said.
In November, Mills and some others started Foundation of Hope to help those who are at risk or trying to overcome addiction. The organization hosts a meal once a month, each time focusing on a particular theme.
This month’s theme is Bringing the Spirit Home.
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“Teaching them the culture, teaching them tradition, helping them find out who they truly are — they lost their spirit so it’s bringing their spirit back to them as an individual, and that’s where the name comes from,” said Blood Tribe fire Chief Jacen Abrey.
To help those wanting to overcome addiction, the detox facility in Stand Off, Alta., welcomes new patients and has one clear message for those doubting recovery.
“It’s truly possible, with our site now helping individuals detox, and then we will keep them until they are ready to go to treatment,” added Abrey.
“It’s not impossible to stop but it has to come from within you, and that’s where we need to understand that the people that are struggling with opioids, they are people, too. They have families and they are special, too,” said Mills.