Vancouver Harbour Light Staff and Alumni Recalls How VHL Programs Changed His Life

Celebrating Recovery at VHL

I first came in contact with The Salvation Army Vancouver Harbour Light back in 2011 when I was released from prison to VHL to enter the CRF Program also known as a halfway house. That is when I saw how VHL ran its programs and met some of the staff. So, when I was looking for a place to go and get clean, get off drugs and to straighten my life out in 2021, I picked Vancouver Harbour Light because I knew some of the staff already and I was familiar with the program.

When I first got here in 2021, I was worried because I had never put myself through a program before. I really didn’t know if I could stick to it. I was really hoping I could change my life around. I really needed to change the way I was living, the way I was feeling all the time. I needed to change my lifestyle or I was going to die or end up in jail for a long time.

Going through Harbour Light completely saved my life, it gave me hope and a chance of having a decent life. I started to care about myself again, I was actually setting goals and completing them. The staff here are the biggest support I have ever had. Even when I had a slip and almost dumped everything I was working for into the ground, they were here to fully support me and showed me that I had people that actually care what happens to me and would give me chances to put it all together again. To be honest, if I didn’t have the support they gave me, I wouldn’t have pulled it back together.

Since completing the program, my life has changed for the better drastically. I am healthy, I am completing my goals on a regular basis. I have all kinds of support, I find that I am a lot happier, I don’t have to worry as much anymore, I can actually say that I have a good life now, and it just keeps getting better. In the future, I look forward to reconnecting with my daughter and show her that I can be a good father.

The only advice I could give to any of the newcomers that are just starting out in the program is, “Don’t give up!”, because it always gets better. I know there will be times that you feel like you can’t do it, or what’s the point, or you feel like it’s too hard or boring. But I promise you, it always gets better, everything you want slowly comes together. As long as you stay strong and stick to whatever works for you to stay clean and make the right choices. It will get better I promise. Try to keep yourself busy, find new hobbies to keep you occupied, and before you know it, you will have a completely new routine. Make some goals you want and every time you complete one of these goals, it gets easier.

David Black – Vancouver Harbour Light Alumni, celebrating 1+ year clean.

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