the ‘hope’ in hope cottage is fitting.
the area surrounding hope cottage houses a lot of people who live under the poverty line. there are two men’s homeless shelters about 5 minute walk away. theres a womens shelter four doors down and another one 10 minutes away. several small and large public housing buildings dot the urban landscape. the public row housing and duplex units are all around the cottage.
we have a policy that we only serve meals to adults. any kids younger than 19 cant eat at the cottage. when i asked eddie what that was, i was told it was to protect them. there are known convicted child molesters living in the area who come to the cottage for food. kids can get sandwiches to go but they cant stay and eat. i understand why but its still something thats hard for me to swallow. why should convicted child molesters get precedence over the kids in the community? i guess if you dont know all the possible offenders then its better to air on the side of caution.
a lot of addicts come for breakfast and dinner daily. alcohol, crack, opiates – most people fall into one or a couple of these addictions. escaping reality and filling the addiction become the invisible shackles and chains.
im not using that word as a hyperbole either. i mean literal slavery defined as ‘the condition of being subject or addicted to a specified influence.’
it kills me to see what some people will do to themselves and others to fill their addictions and appease their slave owners (drugs). im sure you are no different. most of us have had to deal with a friend or family member who had a destructive addiction. theres a certain helplessness that comes from seeing them destroy themselves..
after talking with some other community stake holders, i came up with an idea. its nothing original or mind-boggling but i think its some thing desperately needed in this community. the idea is a grass-roots recovery program for addicts. redeemed and recovered addicts helping current addicts gain the freedom they need to live their lives more abundantly and productively.
eddie, one of the main guys at hope cottage, is a recovered addict after spending a considerable amount of his life battling substance abuse. after failed attempts at sobriety eddie explained to me that God came to his rescue. the physical solutions couldnt fix what was a spiritual problem.
the same thing happened with my uncle, peter. addictions, too, had plagued him and caused him to spiral out of control and make life decisions that were destructive. God showed up to him in a powerful way and delivered him from his slavery to substance abuse as well.
both these men call the north end of halifax home and they both have a huge heart for the addicts in their community.
the director of the cottage just gave us the big OK to start a recovery group in the new year. with the leading of God and behind the incredible testimonies of redemption from eddie and peter, i think this is going to be a powerful opportunity to see restorative justice done in our city.
all prayers and well wishes welcomed 🙂