SASKATOON – Stephen Murphy battled with addiction for years. He describes that part of his life as “37 years of living in slavery.”
“You become a slave to your addiction and that’s all that matters. Friends, family, community, even your own health doesn’t matter. All you need is that and it’s a nightmare,” he added.
Murphy was living on the street and also in and out of prison.
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“I was on the verge of not being alive. My life was over. I had given it all up. That’s how down I was.”
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Eventually, Murphy says he knew he had to make a change and decided to turn to a five-bedroom men’s transitional house, known as “The Passage” for help. It provides a safe and sober environment for men who are ready to transition back into society.
“I could give you story after story of men who have come to the house broken – broken by their own circumstances, choices they’ve made and broken by others … horribly hurt in the past,” said Greg Pearson, donor relations coordinator at Bridge Fellowship Centre.
The Passage was launched by The Bridge Fellowship Centre in 2013. Today, it manages the transitional home and continues to serve up to 250 meals a day, including breakfast and lunch in its temporary location.
The Bridge is now seeking donations from individuals and businesses to raise $650,000 to help renovate its newest facility. The property was purchased two years ago and officials say the new location will offer more unique programs and services to help the city’s less fortunate.
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The Bridge is also hoping to help more people like Murphy. Today, he is free of any addiction, working in the community and he’s more than happy to spread the word about reaching out for help.
When asked about what he wants others to take away from his story, Murphy said, “to not give up hope.”
“There’s help here … people like the Lighthouse, The Bridge, the city centre, the Friendship Inn – there’s all sorts of good places but the thing is, you have to reach out. You have to want it.”