Need growing at Open Door
Nadezhda Brooks, 4, and Kristina Brooks play with Moose at Moose's Family Day Picnic at the Camrose Open Door Association on Feb. 19. Moose is just one of the tools the Open Door uses to reach out to their clients as they offer a safe place and programming to help them get their life back on track. Josh Aldrich/Camrose Canadian
“The staff at the Open Door supported me in multiple ways; they didn’t just put a roof over my head and food on the table. They are so much more than that”— former client.
The vast variety of services and supports provided through Camrose Open Door Association is broad and encompassing. One of the most significant pieces of support The Open Door does is provided through the shelter programming. Camrose Open Door Association has a shelter with eight emergency beds and four transition apartments. In 2017, The Open Door provided services to 44 youth within this specific shelter program. In January and February of 2018, 21 youth have been provided services within the shelter program. This is an enormous increase. These are staggering numbers and demonstrate the seriousness, as well as the incredible need for what is being provided. Many have asked what the reason is for the increase in requests for support. Camrose Open Door Association does not have the answer as to why, but we do know that The Open Door’s emergency and shelter services are unique within the Province of Alberta. The services provided are long term and specialize in meeting individuals where they are at. This means that the programming is flexible to the youth’s situation, and provides every opportunity to create options for success for youth.
At our Fall Gala, a former client spoke about her experience in the shelter at The Open Door. “They dedicated so much of their time to support me through all the crap the world threw at me and I honestly never expected a shelter for youth to be filled with such caring, kind and compassionate human beings.” Her process, which is detailed on our website blog outlines why she needed the shelter, and the supports that were provided to her, from The Open Door, through her healing journey.
“The young shattered, broken, devastated girl I was at the shelter is not who I am today. It is amazing how I began to grow and heal when in a safe, caring environment. I walked into the shelter damaged and broken but came out strong and healing. The Open Door taught me that no matter what my past was, no matter what I had done or what I had lost that my future was bright. They showed me that despite every awful thing that happened to me, I deserved to be happy and that it was possible for me to happy. They taught me not to give up in the face of diversity but to stand up and fight for myself. They took my low crumpled self-esteem and helped me build a solid foundation of self-love and courage. They changed my life simply by showing me they cared and not everyone would give up on me. As a youth who found myself in a situation where many doors were shut on me I was blessed to find the one and only door that was open, the Open Door.”
Camrose Open Door Association is dedicated to each and every individual who comes to us requiring services. The programming we provide can, at times, be life saving. We are proud of a shelter program that finds reasons to be successful and that impacts youth such as this former client in this manner. We are even more proud of the hard work, dedication and immense strength demonstrated daily by the individuals we support.
Jessica Hutton is the Executive Director for Camrose Open Door Association. For more stories and information check out our new website. www.camroseopendoor.com.