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Addicts Find New Life On Mustard Seed's Hope Farm

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Published on Oct 12, 2012

http://www.ctvvancouverisland.ca
http://www.facebook.com/ctvvi

NORTH COWICHAN - He came to the farm after years of lying, stealing, and abusing. "I've been through five rehabs. How do you look at yourself in the mirror when you've been through five. The 4th one and I'm still a disaster. After my time in AA I wasn't feeling like there was much of a chance for me, like maybe the issue wasn't so much drinking. I'm more a sociopath."

Whatever he was, Hope Farm saw someone worth saving. "We get these men in a stage of their life that they're ready for a change. We pour our lives into them and they pour their lives into the farm. Hopefully that will sustain them, if not; we're there for them if they stumble," says the Mustard Seed's Executive Director Rev. Chris Riddell.

They raise chickens and pigs. They harvest wheat, and become a community. "We provide consistency, which is why the program begins at six months, and not two months or 25 days or something," says Riddell.

Right now it costs the Mustard Seed about 15 percent of its annual budget to run Hope Farm. That amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars -- a lot of money when finances are tight. But they've got a five year plan to get the operation paying for itself.

There are six staff who have watched 70 men arrive in pieces and leave whole. "It's fantastic to see the change from a guy who has one backpack and that's all he got in the world. He's maybe 90 pounds, and his teeth are a wreck from drug addiction... leaving six months later healthier physically and emotionally and mentally, restoring relationships with family and friends" says farm Director Michael Burdge.

Not every broken relationship can be fixed and not every addict can stay sober. But at Hope Farm you can take your best shot. "The people I've lost and the people I've loved - there's lots of them out there that still won't talk to me and I get that, I understand why. So for me it's a pretty powerful message to be taken in, in spite of that behavior."

You can help the Mustard Seed and Hope Farm by donating at mustardseed.ca

Follow Andrew Johnson on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CTVNewsAndrew

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