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“I feel a lot more positive about myself”


For much of his life, Bruce used drugs on and off and eventually became addicted to crack. Later in his life, he found himself directionless and relied on community supports to get by.

But last year, Bruce took a step that put his life back on track.

“I decided enough was enough.”

So, with the goal of upgrading his education, Bruce visited the John Howard Society of Ottawa, a United Way partner. He then connected with their ARCHES program, which helped Bruce improve his resume and interview skills, and get a job at a restaurant close to his home after dropping off his second resume.

Now, Bruce has been sober for over 6 years, and says he feels more independent, self-sufficient, and positive about himself.

The ARCHES program at the John Howard Society uses a supportive employment approach to help people with mental health and addictions barriers find employment.

For Bruce, ARCHES helped him strengthen his resume so he could find work that made sense for his lifestyle, while offering constant support so he can manage his challenges with addiction.

With a consistent income, Bruce is now saving up for a new scooter so he can get around the city faster.

Whether it’s supporting one-on-one counselling, peer support, crisis phone lines or supportive employment models like ARCHES, United Way and our partners ensure people with mental health or addictions barriers find the help they need.

A photo of Bruce in downtown Ottawa.



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