Thank You for Saving My Life!

Two years ago, Andy nearly died from an overdose while homeless. You helped Andy when he needed it most! Because of you, Andy received addiction treatment and now has a place to call home.

I thought I was going to die. And I think I came very close.

On that bitterly cold winter night, two years ago,  I woke up on a hard sidewalk in downtown Kitchener.    I guess I had passed out. It’s the closest I had come yet to overdosing, to dying on a lonely street corner. Somehow, I staggered over to House of Friendship, to the one place I could feel safe. 

I desperately needed to get warm, out  of the cold. My underwear was frozen solid, and I couldn’t stop shaking from  the cold. I had nowhere else to go. I’ve never felt so alone. 

You see, I was addicted to fentanyl. That night, I almost didn’t wake up. It took hours for me to warm up again. 

But thanks to kind and caring people like you, I was able to face another day.  

As I lay there on my bed, shivering through the night, I wondered where my life had gone wrong.  

My name is Andy. I am 57 years old, and, thanks to you, I’m starting over. My life used to look very different – I was married, with two children, and worked for a manufacturer in Guelph. 

What people couldn’t see from the outside, however, was that I had a lot of problems. When I was only 12, I was sexually assaulted. That’s when I started drinking, because it was the only way to dull the pain.

That drinking eventually led to drug use. I was able to keep working for quite a while, until everything caught up to me. My marriage ended, I lost my job, and I ended up on the streets.

When I look back, there are only a few things that I remember. One of them is what it felt like when someone finally believed in me. Shawn, a support worker at the Shelter, never gave up on me. He kept on checking in, encouraging me to get help. When he saw me, he didn’t see a drug addict. He saw me.

That’s what it was like at House of Friendship. Even though I had lost my self-respect, they still saw me as someone who was worthy of their time. They still cared. And that is what kept me going during those dark days.

I know you are compassionate like that. It’s people like you who are making it possible for people like me to begin again. Thank you!


Your support today changes lives all through the year! Whether it’s helping men like Andy, or the thousands of individuals and families who rely on our programs for food, supportive housing, addiction treatment or support for families living on low income region-wide, your help is needed now more than ever.

Posted on: December 23rd, 2021

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