Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a loved one trapped in a precarious situation with nothing good in sight? Now think about if you were financially incapable of doing the only thing that might make a difference. Overdose and addiction claimed over 10,300 Canadian lives between 2016-2018, and 2019 is almost certain to be just as devastating. Inability to help can mean death.
People living in late-stage addiction are often too busy focused on how they're going to make it through the day to hatch a plan to extricate themselves from their predicament. Now add in the fact that welfare-funded treatment beds often have waitlists that are months long. Add in the fact that to maintain your place on the list you need to call every day. It's a difficult situation.
It's no one's fault though, this is a basic supply and demand problem. You guessed it, the demand far exceeds the supply. Market forces allow those who can afford it to get private treatment, which is completely fine. The existence of private treatment does not impact the number of government-funded beds that are available. The issue is that when government-funded beds are unavailable, even those who can't afford it will do almost anything to pay for a bed. Second mortgages? Check. Early RRSP cash in? Check. Debt? Check. It's the way the world works - when the life of our loved one is at stake, we'll make short or long term sacrifices to protect our family. And there's nothing wrong with that.
But what about the person who has no family? The person who doesn't own a house? Doesn't have access to credit? Doesn't have Retirement Savings Plans?
What started out as a small initiative to "make a difference" has grown beyond what anyone could've ever imagined. The Fallen Sons Memorial Fund is a scholarship that fully funds between 7 and 15 clients participating in our evidence-based programs every month. Through donations from our supporters, along with matching TWC funds, we're able to take downtrodden, broken men and turn them into happy, healthy, and hope-infused tax-paying contributors to society. Canada loves a comeback story, and so do we.
Although we have some government-funded beds, we are not a fully government-funded facility. We are a non-profit charity operating in a sector largely dominated by for-profit organizations and our mixed-model has allowed us to metamorphosis from a single house 26 years ago to the largest addiction treatment organization in Canada. We don't operate for money, but evidence-based, life-saving treatment costs money. We know our clients need the best, and that's exactly what we provide.
Our scholarship fund gives second chances, and the proof of results are in the names of men now sober. Families have their kids back, wives have their husbands back, and kids have their parents back.
Addiction is a Disease
In Canada, we operate under a social-healthcare model. Whether you're rich or poor, old or young, you have access to doctors, hospitals, surgeries and care. We don't leave people behind.
We aren't in the business of deciding policy, but we have noticed one thing: addiction is the only potentially fatal disease that doesn't guarantee you quick care. We are but one organization, so by default, our impact has limits. The Fallen Sons Memorial Fund has allowed us to make more than a small dent. Last year we put provided over 100 men with start to finish treatment. We give people a chance.
Our 2019 Gala on November 9th will see all proceeds go directly towards the Fallen Sons Memorial Fund. Help us help the community.
Visit www.twcgala.com to learn more.
Written for Together We Can by Tristan Elliott, a third-year BBA student who currently works as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator. He is passionate about issues affecting the local community, personal finance, the economy, and Canada as a whole.