A special story lives in the walls at CARE for Women. In 2015, Calgary needed specialized outpatient treatment for women with addictions and related mental health challenges. A community of generous and caring Calgarians helped Recovery Acres Society transform an old bungalow into the Co-occurring Addiction Recovery Essentials (CARE) treatment facility.
Chris and Cora
One passionate and well-known volunteer had a personal connection to the project. “I had a best friend and a cousin who were really special to me,” says former Mrs. Calgary and Mrs. Canada, Angie Shilliday. “They lost their lives to drug and alcohol addiction. I knew this project would keep their memory alive.”
Shilliday and TJ Anderson hosted reality television show Crowns of Construction produced by L&C Style Productions alongside contractors Clay Hughes and Wes Martens. The show’s focal point was the CARE project and it generated a groundswell of support. However, it was behind the scenes where the memory of two women – Chris and Cora – became forever connected to CARE for Women.
The connection to Chris and Cora is especially meaningful to the staff at CARE for Women. “I also entered the field of addiction because people I loved were suffering,” says Jessica van ‘t Hof, CARE Addiction Counsellor. “I am deeply committed to honouring the legacy of Chris and Cora, and my present and future clients who suffer in some way and who have lost loved ones to addiction. Places like CARE are sacred spaces because women engage in a special type of focus. They connect with disenfranchised parts of the self and heal.”
CARE Recovery Coach, Tanya Stewart agrees. “The reality is that many women arriving at our doors come here having lost a sister, friend, or family member to the disease of addiction,” says Stewart. “What a beautiful gift that our facility is literally built up with the intention of honoring these women who have passed while caring for the women coming in our door.”