A message from Executive Director Gord Sand

From our 2018 Annual Report

In 2018 we began a journey of organizational change, formally recognizing something we have long known to be true: that addiction and/or criminal behaviour can largely be the result of childhood trauma. By implementing the Alberta Family Wellness Initative’s Brain Story certification as training for our staff, we are ensuring to address the very root causes of crime.

Our Ignite Opioid Awareness Project, which ran from May to December, gave people who have experienced the opioid crisis a platform to share their stories in hopes of reducing the stimga against people who use substances. The painting on the cover of our 2018 Annual Report is one such project, which was created by a man who lost his friend to addiction (right).

Also this past year, we received accreditation from the Canadian Accreditation Council of Human Services for our governance and management, Roofs for Youth and youth outreach programs — a significant accomplishment that recognizes the quality service our staff provide every day.

Much of 2018 has been spent around the construction of our new residence and community services building, which opened in June 2019. This is a huge step for us and has been a long time coming, as the process has taken 15 years to get to where we are now. We look forward to celebrating our next chapter with all of our important stakeholders!

Calvin O’Brien, a local Calgary artist, painted “Absence of Evil” in memory of three friends — Colin, Joseph and Zack — who he lost to the opioid crisis. Colin was also a client at CJHS and, at the suggestion of Colin’s mother, Calvin submitted the painting to the Ignite Opioid Awareness Project, CJHS’s art-based initiative to reduce the stigma of addiction, which ran from May-December 2018. “I looked up to Colin,” Calvin says of his friend, who lived with his family for a few months when they were teenagers. “He was a positive male role model in my life.” Calvin adds that he’s always been fascinated with the concept of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” and wanted to adopt it to memorialize his friends. “They were like family,” he says. Visit @bigupperz on Instagram to see more of Calvin’s artwork.