“I HAVE A DREAM”
A Quote made famous by Martin Luther King Jr. but one that was also said some years later by a Greek in a treatment centre for an alcohol addiction. He was told at that time to concentrate on his own recovery and not to try and save the world.
That Greek was Takis Liris and although he focused on his own recovery he also never forgot his dream. Over the coming years he was going to do whatever it took to ensure that his dream was fulfilled. With the help of a couple of fellow alcoholics they founded Oasis Addiction Recovery Society, a haven for those new to recovery to find a safe place to meet for coffee, support with no fear of being judged.
It is easy to stay clean and sober in a treatment center, but what happens when you leave that safe environment. Many people in recovery have family support, a job to go back to and find again their purpose in life; but what happens to those that don’t have it.
They may have lost their housing, have criminal records, health issues, trust issues, no real family support and no idea how to return to being a contributing member of their community. These are the ones who go through the revolving doors of detox and treatment centres. While there are services available throughout the city none are quite as meaningful as the unique services Oasis provides.
One may ask why does Oasis work. The answer is simple. All the staff employed are themselves in recovery and as such are able to understand fully what the recovering alcoholic/addict is going through. They know what it takes to be successful and no one was more convinced of this than Takis.
From the small haven he created, Oasis has become an organization that not only offers a safe place for those in early recovery, but is recognized by the City of Toronto and Provincial Government as a provider of services that assists those in recovery to once again become capable, contributing members of society.
From its humble beginnings Oasis now offers programs such as Employment Essentials where clients can discover who they are and what their goals are. They can return to school for upgrading, skills training or join the Employment Placement Program where they get assistance in resume building, job seeking and interviewing skills. All the time fully supported by the staff. An ODSP Employment Support Program is offered for those with concurrent disorders (i.e. addiction and mental health).
Relapse prevention and independent 12 step programs are also available.
Takis’s dream not only became a reality, but continues to grow and provide essential services and support to those in recovery.
Although he may no longer be with us, his dream will continue on as his courage, determination and spirit has shown all of us involved that:
CHANGE IS POSSIBLE