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Quintin Warner House
Helping to Break the Grips of Addiction

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If you feel trapped in the grips of an addiction how can you break free?

If you're at your wit's end because a family member's addiction habits have eroded trust in the family through deceit, denial, theft, and abuse, where do you turn?

If you or someone you care about is facing incarceration but without any realistic plan for overcoming addiction habits after serving time, what then?

These are very tough questions to face in a world where addiction and mental health counselling resources are extremely limited. Hope can be hard to find, but for many it can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Quintin Warner House offers just that sort of hope here in London.

Named after Canon Quintin Warner, an Anglican clergy who brought the first Alcoholic Anonymous programs to Canada, Mission Services of London's Quintin Warner House is a 16-bed men's residential treatment program offering concurrent treatment for a wide range of addiction and mental health issues. The first phase consists of an in-depth four to five month program based on spiritual care, community support and intensive group therapy. Other aspects of healthy living are promoted in sessions which deal with assertiveness, life skills, goal setting, spiritual awareness, sexuality and recreational activity. It's a lot of work and not everyone completes the program.

Quintin Warner House Director Jon DeActis likes to say, "We don't treat the addiction; we treat the addict." This means addressing deep-seated issues that impacted men before the addiction even began. Issues like childhood trauma from abusive relationships or catastrophic loss can trigger and overwhelm some clients, luring them back into unhealthy coping habits, lapses or relapses in addiction. Some men are asked to step away from the program, with appropriate strategies in place, and then try again later. Once clients do successfully complete the program, grads can move to one of Quintin Warner's annexes for up to 1 year as needed so they can fully transition into healthy life patterns.

From every angle, supportive community is key to Quintin Warner House program's success. Jon tells one story of a man whose addiction to oxycontin resulted in his incarceration after a number of pharmacy robberies. In prison, he met folks from New Life Ministries, and eventually met Christ and committed his life to Him. The man was allowed to serve some of his time at Quintin Warner House for addiction help and has now successfully completed the program. Support for this man at his parole hearing was overwhelming--the Quintin Warner House Director, family members and all the guys from the program showed up to support him, making an immense impression on the judge. Although this fellow still has some time to serve, his life is on track and full of hope. Plans are already in place for him to join the annex program and become a mentor to others.

Another man came to Quintin Warner House after spending a lot of time in prison. He was a big guy—tough, tattooed and used to looking after himself. After a short time in the program, the guy was struggling. Eventually he approached Jon, saying, "I'm going back to prison—it's easier to live there than here." Jon replied, "Just give it one more week. Let us be your cheerleader. We care about you." This was the first time he had heard anyone say they cared for him in a long time. He melted. A tear trickled down his cheek, he stayed and has now graduated from the program. This past Christmas he had Christmas at home with his family.

Jon expresses great appreciation for many "Friends of Quintin Warner House" who contribute generously to reinforce the message of worth and commitment to residents looking to rebuild their lives. Just to name a few, Rev. Michelle Down, pastor at the Dundas Street Centre United Church and Rev. Junior Sorzano of London First Church of the Nazarene share "Faith Today" devotional sessions with the men in the program. Dundas Street Centre United Church also provides what Jon calls "a great community resource" by offering their facilities for offices, recreation and graduation activities. Jon also expressed great appreciation to the many staff at Forest City Fire Protection who line up to provide and serve Christmas Dinner for Quintin Warner House each year. And, Pastor Matt Eckert from North Park Community Church has been helping to provide welcome packages and gift boxes to new residents.

Although Quintin Warner House always appreciates donations from basic toiletries to sturdy furniture, there are other valuable ways to contribute—even picking up grocery money from them and doing a grocery run helps quite a lot. Contact Jon—he has plenty of ideas.

One other big need is for local employers to get involved. For Quintin Warner House program grads who have criminal records, finding even part-time employment can be very discouraging. Yes, there is some risk involved. But, staff want to work with employers willing to partner with them. They know their guys and their potential. If you are an employer who would consider helping in this way, please call Jon—he'd love to talk to you. Although the program at Quintin Warner House is limited to 16 beds presently and has a 3-4 month waiting list, it's no big surprise that men come from all over the province for help—and they get it. Praise God!

Jon DeActis at Quintin Warner House: 519 434 8041
jdeactis@missionservices.ca