Calgary's Alpha House stronger post-flood than ever, say staff
Substance abuse facility near Stampede Grounds closed for months due to flood damage
Staff at the Alpha House in Calgary say they couldn't have survived last year's flood without help from some of their former clients.
The substance abuse facility near the Stampede Grounds was shut down for seven months due to flood damage. On Friday, they marked the one-year anniversary of the flood — and all of the hard work it took to get them back on their feet.
"We lost a substantial amount of property and we were fortunate that we were able to continue to operate," said Kathy Christiansen, spokesperson for Alpha House. "[Former clients] wanted to be part of giving back too and we bore witness to that."
Christiansen says it was humbling to see how people came together during the crisis.
For those who had sought treatment at Alpha House, seeing the facility struggle inspired them to open their doors to those in need.
"I was safe and I was helped, and I wanted to give back," said a woman who asked to be identified only as Suzanne.
Suzanne was one of the many former clients who let recovering addicts stay in her apartment when the flood struck.
She says having them with her didn't threaten her sobriety but rather made her stronger.
Alpha House continued to operate from alternate locations in the aftermath of the flood.
While they are now back in their facility, Christiansen says they are still tallying up all that was lost.