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Mothers in Recovery Supported by Alberta Addictions Center

A past resident who graduated from the Adeara program. Courtesy Adeara Recovery Centre

Adeara, a long term, faith-based, addictions recovery center for women in Edmonton, Alta., is unique in that city for allowing women to have their children with them on their recovery journey.

“This is one of the key components that sets us apart from most recovery programs in our province,” said Lori Patrick, Adeara’s executive director. The center’s website puts it clearly: “We don’t want women to have to choose between getting help and taking care of their children.”

Focused on Christ-centered transformation, the organization is supported by many churches and has a Christian Reformed congregation member as Community Development Lead.

Operating since 1998, the recovery program was known previously as the Edmonton Dream Centre but took the name Adeara, meaning “strength” in Hebrew, in 2017. “It is a tribute to the women in our care who show incredible strength each day as they continue towards recovery,” the website says.

“We firmly believe in the spiritual and transformative power found in the biblical Christ,” Patrick said. “Every woman who enters our program is given the opportunity to hear, learn and experience the love of Christ through the classes, church attendance, daily devotions, one-on-one conversations, personal reflection time and daily interactions with staff.”

Women commit to a one-year recovery program with opportunity to extend it if needed. They live together with their children in individual, furnished suites in an apartment building. Children attend daycare or school during the day while their mothers participate in various groups and classes.

Charlene Nanninga, a member of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Edmonton, is Adeara’s community development lead, a position she moved into after working on a key project in 2020.

That year Adeara had the opportunity to take over a thrift store from another nonprofit, and Patrick, who knew Nanninga from a time when their daughters played volleyball together, asked her to help with the project. The hope was that the thrift store would generate funds for Adeara and also provide work experience for the women in recovery.

“I never thought I would be working for Adeara a few years later,” Nanninga said. She now oversees the thrift store, called More Than A Fad, and works on Adeara’s fund development team.

The organization covers all costs for the women participating in its program, raising the necessary funds through three annual events, the thrift store, private donors, and from the supporting churches, including designated offerings from several Christian Reformed congregations.

“I'm passionate about the work that Adeara is doing,” said Nanninga, “because I see women's lives being restored, them becoming great moms, breaking the cycle. I love to hear their stories about how Jesus has changed their lives. When you hear about the hurt they have lived with and see where they are now, that can only be Jesus! I love that the (thrift) store can play a part in their recovery and give them confidence in the workplace.”

Adeara celebrated 25 years in 2023. “I’m excited to see what God has in store for the next 25 years,” Nanninga said.

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