Annual Report: The Road to Recovery









Laura Bhoi, CEO

Sue Jaffe, Board President and Chair

As we move into Renascent’s 49th year, our roots in the communities we serve reach further and grow stronger.  In 2017-18, the combined drive of our staff, volunteers, and donors has made us stronger than ever. Over the year, we fielded over 25,000 calls to support, guide, and facilitate treatment for those struggling with addiction and mental health. And in the face of growing crisis, we provided treatment and support to over 1,400 people.

The face of addiction has changed dramatically in the last decade; it has become far more complex to treat as our waitlists grow and the opioid crisis takes hold. We face an urgency that has not existed before.  When someone is ready for help, being told that the help they need is three or four months away is most definitely an obstacle on the road to their recovery, and often a person can’t wait that long.

Our commitment to provide strong leadership and address this growing epidemic has been a major focus over the last year, because it has never been more clear that there is an urgent need for expanded and integrated programs and services. In a series of collaborative meetings, we have discussed the issues and reviewed proposed solutions with all levels of the provincial Government and our community partners. We believe that these solutions, which are based on our shared values, would be transformational in the area of addiction treatment in Ontario.

Private donors and organizations have continued to step up to provide tremendous support for Renascent’s treatment programs over the year. Through these generous donations and grants, we continue to ensure access to our quality programs despite the growing costs. As a new initiative in response to the long waitlists for treatment, Renascent launched a new treatment bursary program in May 2018, funded entirely by private donors, called THIS CAN’T WAIT. This new bursary program allows three at-risk individuals every month to come off the waitlist and enter into a fully funded treatment program right away.

We have also hosted community education and professional development sessions over the course of the year, inviting partners, alumni, and community members to join us in the experience as we strive to ensure that we all have access to the most current information in the areas of addiction, mental health, and recovery.

As we move forward with our partners, Renascent will continue to focus on expanding both capacity and connections within the treatment system to facilitate long-term recovery for those with addictions.  Renascent’s accredited treatment programs are an essential resource in the province, providing evidence-based treatment, grounded in 12-step principles and philosophy, and clinical best practices.

We could not continue to deliver this service without the support of generous donors whose donations, along with funds received from the Government, make it possible to ensure that cost is never a barrier for hundreds of people every year.

Laura Bhoi

Chief Executive Officer, Renascent Fellowship and Renascent Foundation

Sue Jaffe

President and Chair, Renascent Fellowship Board and Renascent Foundation Board

2017-2018 By the Numbers

phone calls to and from the Access Centre

people received treatment from Renascent

people admitted to in-patient treatment at one of our centres

people participated in a Family Care Program

people participated in one-on-one counselling

staff on Team Renascent

raised by...

donors like you!
















As the addiction and overdose crisis continues to grow in Ontario, the issue of long waitlists for addiction treatment has become a dangerous reality.

In response to this urgent need, in 2017 the Renascent Foundation launched the THIS CAN’T WAIT initiative, a focused campaign aimed at tackling the long wait list for funded residential addiction treatment in Ontario. Driving THIS CAN’T WAIT​ are a handful of generous private citizens who have stepped up to fill a major gap in our public health care system.

These private donors have collectively contributed close to $400,000, which will allow us pull 36 people in the highest need of treatment off of our waitlist and into our comprehensive treatment program over the next year.


In July 2017, we had a spectacular day on the golf course at Angus Glen for our annual Recovery Shot tournament. The tournament, now in its 23rd year running, has raised over 2.4 million dollars since its inception for Renascent’s programs. 2017 was another great year with more than 190 golfers and $242,132 raised!


23 people joined Team Renascent at the Marathon on October 22nd, after having raised a total of $28,460 from 228 donors!

The prizes for the day were awarded as follows:

  • Best costume: Dennis James
  • Most cash donations: Stacey Kennedy
  • Top Fundraiser: Kathie Viner
  • House with most participants: Munro Centre


On a sunny Saturday in September, 86 of our alumni and friends enjoyed a fun-filled day of golf out on the Rolling Hills Golf Course in Whitchurch-Stouffville, and raised $17,629!


At the 2017 luncheon to celebrate the Guardian Angels who support Renascent’s work and help us ensure that cost is never a barrier to life-saving treatment, we asked some of them to tell us why they’ve chosen to support us:



Also at the 2017 Guardian Angel Luncheon, the Ed & Bobby Yielding Award was presented by Ed Harding to Renascent’s Director of Programs, Dennis James. The award recognizes a Guardian Angel who shares the same commitment, passion, and vision for Renascent that the Yieldings demonstrated throughout their years as staff and friends of Renascent. Dennis is known throughout Renascent’s community for his deep commitment to developing programs and maximizing opportunities for those unable to afford treatment.


The Peter Armstrong Community Award is awarded to a person, organization, or company that deserves recognition for their inspiring contributions to, or support of, the recovery community.  The award was established in 2012 and is presented annually. In 2017, Harry Dearden and Maggie Beattie were presented with the Peter Armstrong Community Award at an Education Seminar hosted by Renascent and Hazelden Betty Ford featuring Fred Holmquist. The two-day event, with over 100 guests, was held at the Christ Church Deer Park.


During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, many of our team members were focused on preparing for our accreditation survey by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA). As an organization, our priorities include meeting all of our industry’s best practices and evolving quality standards. Preparing for accreditation was an opportunity to evaluate all of our policies and procedures, and ensure that while we continue to deliver the high quality care we are known for, the improvement process is ongoing.

The CCA undertook their survey in May 2018, and we’re proud to announce that in August 2018 we received our four-year accreditation.


Renascent launched a one of a kind Food Addiction Program for Women at Munro House on November 1st, 2017.

In 2015/16 Renascent piloted and evaluated a food program in partnership with Ryerson’s Department of Psychology. Our Food Addiction (FA) program is pioneering a new treatment protocol that will assist women with concurrent food and substance addictions as well as women with food only addictions. Currently there are no other treatment programs in Canada offering a comprehensive Food Addiction treatment program like this.

Typically, the treatment field has looked at the pathological issues associated with food under the framework of ‘Eating Disorders’ and has not focused on food addiction as a substance addiction.

This program would not be possible without the generous support of the Harweg Foundation (Henry and Alvin Rosenberg, Wolfe and Esther Goldstein).

For many women suffering from food addiction, they have waited so long to get the help they need—and now is their time to make a change. Their road to recovery begins here.







Stories From The Road








Stories From The Road

I remember the day I arrived at Renascent’s Punanai Centre almost ten years ago in September. I sat on the front porch with my head down, tears falling. I was full of self-pity and loathing. In my mind, I had become the useless, worthless man that my father had always said I was. In July of that year, I had given up. I could no longer live with alcohol and drugs, and I couldn’t live without them. I had been planning my suicide for over twenty years — a terrible way to live — and the time had come. On a Sunday night in a cheap motel in Mississauga, I wrote a note and went into the tub and started to slash my wrists and legs. I came to around 8:00 the next morning with no options. I staggered to my car and drove to a shopping mall around the corner. I felt nothing; I just knew it would be over soon. I lined my car up to face a brick wall about 500 meters away and hit the gas. The speedometer said I was going 85 kph. I thought that would be fast enough, but it wasn’t.

Click here to continue reading Cliff's story

  When I came to this time, something had changed. I spent twelve days in the hospital and when I was discharged, my only option was a men’s shelter. I spent nine weeks there and fortunately, a woman there insisted I go to Renascent. So there I was on that porch in September. I took a deep breath, picked up all my belongings in a garbage bag, and walked through the door. My first impression was “Wow, what a beautiful place!” I had no idea that rehabs were so beautiful, and later found out that Renascent was the exception. The first man I met smiled, shook my hand, and said “Welcome, I’m glad you are here.” It was a glimmer of hope.

The first three days were tough because I had stopped taking valium suddenly. I was a mess. I couldn’t sleep or eat, I cried uncontrollably, and couldn’t stop shaking. The counsellors were tough too, but compassionate, which was exactly what I needed. One counsellor spent hours with me working on my breathing and calming me down. Even the kitchen staff were amazing. Whenever I’m in Toronto, I drop by to say hi and give thanks. Over time the counsellors introduced me to the program that not only saved my life, but gave me a life full of gratitude and purpose. The Alumni Night changed my life and gave me hope, as these happy and healthy men told us the awful stories of their addictions and how they had recovered. They graciously stayed and answered my many questions. At this point, I believed that I could follow in their footsteps and so I did. As the days passed, the residents bonded and created a beautiful synergy. I remember sitting out on that same front porch one night after a meeting and we were laughing. It had been years since I had last laughed, and suddenly I was freely crying tears of gratitude. When my time at Punanai was drawing to an end, I followed my counsellor’s advice and applied for a spot at a long-term care centre in Brockville. On my last day at Punanai, a spot opened up for me but I had no money to make the journey there. I walked into the counsellors’ office and asked them what I should do. They told me to trust in my higher power.

An hour and a half later my fellow residents handed me the money I needed; they had all pitched in to pay for my train ticket. I promised the men that I would remain sober and come back on Alumni Night to speak, and that I would return the money into the Alumni Fund, both of which I have since done. I believe that God’s will for me is to be happy and help others. I have been doing his will to the best of my ability. I have started an AA group, worked in corrections for five years, and have had the privilege to sponsor many men. I believe that doing God’s work has kept me alive because two years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer and given two months to live. I did not drink. Instead I embraced life.

My new motto is “Too busy living to die.” Today I have been sober for ten years. I feel great and am very happy. There is absolutely no way that I would be where I am without the care from Renascent and the staff at Punanai. I do not have the words to adequately express my gratitude, so I will just say thank you. Peace and Love, Cliff Hauswirth

From the age of 19, I was strung out on drugs and alcohol. In 1994, I got in touch with Renascent and that’s where my road to recovery began. I stayed sober for a few years on and off but my encounter with Renascent never left me. I went to two more treatment centres, did two or three day programs, and tried going to different detoxes, but I always thought about my first start at Renascent.

In 2015 my daughter passed away, leaving behind four children. I kept clean and sober for about a year afterwards but eventually relapsed again. I went to detox on August 18th, 2017 and when I decided I needed to get my life back, I wanted to go back to Renascent. It was something I had wanted to do for a while, I just didn’t know how and when I would be able to. When the opportunity arose, I gave myself the chance to actually take a risk and share exactly what had been going on within me with the Renascent counsellors.

Click here to continue reading this story

They helped me and took the time to listen and share my anger, my tears, and my frustrations. The counsellors were always moving me forward and giving me hope. I was not treated like I was less-than or given any doubts; I was just told the realities of the disease that I needed to hear. Then I got into Renascent’s Continuing Care program, which I’ve always wanted to do. I truly dedicated myself this time around and I really enjoyed it.

My family also did the Children’s Healthy Coping Skills Program, so that the kids could learn about how addiction is a family disease, what’s been going on, and understand that it’s not their fault. The Parenting In Recovery program also really helped a lot. I think about Renascent a lot; I’m just grateful for what the staff members have done by always keeping their doors open, and always being just a phone call away. When I finished the program they were there for me and Renascent will forever be in my heart. I will always let people know about Renascent and you know I’m really grateful for this program — thank you!

By God’s grace I celebrated one year of sobriety on August 18, 2018 all because Renascent was there for me when I was not there for myself.

Hi there, my name is Jess and I’m an alcoholic. When Renascent asked me to share my story all I could think of was the word gratitude, because they’re the reason that I’m still alive and able to tell it. For a long time I didn’t know where I belonged or why I was alive. Growing up, I experienced the common feeling of “not being a part of,” but also feeling lost, hurt, and constantly out of control. Nowhere felt safe for me and I was constantly looking for something outside of myself to distract me from anything and everything I was feeling or experiencing. I just wanted to be “okay.” I was thirteen when I had my first drink. It was like I had been missing that last puzzle piece to myself, but with alcohol everything finally fit together. The world stopped hurting as much and the fact that nothing made sense didn’t seem to matter anymore.

Click here to continue reading Jess's story

I finally felt “okay.”

We often talk about how alcoholism is a progressive disease and for me, my downward spiral happened faster than I could blink. Four months after my first drink I was introduced to other mind-altering substances. Seven months after my first drink I had already been hospitalized numerous times for multiple suicide attempts. Nine months after my first drink, I had been introduced to intravenous opiate use, something that would ultimately bring me to more pain than I could ever imagine, death and, but for the grace of God, Renascent’s Graham Munro Centre. I was in and out of the youth shelter system, Children’s Aid, and the psychiatric care system for the majority of my teenage years. The streets of Toronto became more familiar than the back of my hand. I was one of those kids that people walk by everyday and likely never give a second thought to.

When I was 15, I met someone who promised they would take care of me and at that point that was all I wanted, because I had no idea what that felt like or how to do it myself. Unfortunately, his definition of “taking care of me” differed from mine and I was both quickly and forcefully brought into the world of human trafficking. Similarly to when I was younger, I was back in a place where all I knew were feelings of fear, loneliness, not being in control, and now hopelessness. I had become not only a shell of a person from my alcoholism and drug addiction, but I had been taught to see myself as a piece of property. I lost all concept of what my worth was, I had no confidence, faith, or belief that things could ever change or get better. I couldn’t stop drinking and using; it had become more than just an addiction to me — it had become my only method of survival.

In 2015, I had reached a point where I could no longer fathom living the way I was living. I was barely existing, my heart was still beating and I was still breathing, but there was not a moment in the day that I was not sedated by something, but even that had become too hard. Knowing that I couldn’t keep drinking and using anymore and believing that I couldn’t get sober, I was left with only one option: suicide. I was drinking and using anything and everything I could get my hands on, putting myself in horrifying situations, praying to overdose or get killed. That was the only solution I could think of to solve this problem I called “life.”

Two months before coming into Renascent, I overdosed and flat-lined. This had happened numerous times prior to me getting sober, but this time I was told how close I was to being pronounced dead before EMTs and ER staff managed to resuscitate me. Later, as an involuntary patient at a psychiatric hospital, my agreed conditions of being discharged were to attend a treatment centre. That treatment centre was Renascent. From the time I walked in the door, I experienced a feeling that was foreign to me. I was finally in a safe place with people who promised that they would take care of me, showing me what that actually meant.

At Renascent, and through the Graham Munro Centre, I was able to learn and experience what unconditional love and support was. I was taught not only how to live again, but how to live with integrity, honesty, dignity, and grace. I was shown that there is always still hope, even if I can’t see it in the moment, and on the days when everything feels too hard, I had people there who believed in me until I could believe in myself. I am able to look at myself in the mirror now, see that I am a sober woman of value and worth, and know that the only person I belong to is me. There have been many people and many situations in my life that have tried to break me, but the Graham Munro Centre team saw the potential in me that seemed to be invisible to the rest of the world. They showed me how to become a strong woman in recovery and, within the walls of that house, the scared little girl I had been for 18 years was finally shown a different way to live. I was given a way out and suicide was no longer my solution.

I am now 21 years old, and have been sober since January 23rd, 2016. I have a life that I never could have imagined would be possible for “someone like me.” I went back to school in sobriety, graduated with high honours in addiction counselling, and will be attending university this fall. I am confident in my ability to have a future and because my days no longer revolve around drinking, using, or cycles of abuse, I plan to become a lawyer. In sobriety, I am now able to have goals, and one of the most important ones to me is to make a difference in someone’s life the way a difference was made in mine. I am able to be present in my own life and the lives of others; I am able to see that there is still beauty in the world and I have learned how to trust again.

Today I am able to have faith that, even in sobriety and at life’s most difficult times, there is still hope, everything is going to be okay, and picking up a drink or drug won’t fix anything. Today, I am finally able to say that I know what happiness feels like. Gratitude doesn’t begin to cover how I feel about the organization or the people who didn’t give up on me when it seemed as if everyone else had. All that has ever been asked of me in return for everything I have been given, is to live the best life that I can. Thank you for my sobriety.

Our Community Partners

Alpha House Inc.
Barrie Alcohol-Drug Withdrawal Management Centre
Billy Buffett’s House Of Welcome
Breakaway Addiction Services
The Brock Cottage
CAMH: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
The Canterbury Clinic
Central Access, Toronto Withdrawal Management Services System
Centre of Hope Withdrawal Management Centre
CMHA: Canadian Mental Health Association
Cochrane District Detox Centre
Community Addiction Services of Niagara
Cornerstone Community Association
Cornwall Community Hospital, Community Withdrawal Management Services
De Novo Treatment Centre
Detox Centre, Kingston
Downsview Dells
Fred Victor Concurrent Disorders Support Services
G & B House
Gerstein Crisis Centre
Good Shepherd Ministries
Grand River Hospital, Withdrawal Management Centre
Grant House
Hamilton Men’s Withdrawal Management Centre
Haven Toronto
Homewood Health Centre
Humber River Hospital, Withdrawal Management Services
Ingles Housing and Support Services
Jean Tweed Centre
Kawartha District Intergroup
Lakeshore Intergroup
LOFT Community Services
Mount Sinai Hospital

North Bay Regional Health Centre Addiction Services
North York General Hospital, Branson Ambulatory Care Centre
OASIS Movement
Ottawa Withdrawal Management Centre
Our Homes
Ozanam House
Park Road South Community Home
Pieces to Pathways
Pinegate Addiction Services
Pinewood Centre
Porter Place Men’s Hostel
Portuguese Mental Health and Addiction Services
Progress Place
Reconnect Community Health Services
Recovery Counselling Services
Ryerson University
Salvation Army Wilkinson Road Shelter
Sault Area Hospital Withdrawal Management Detox
The Scott Mission
Seaton House
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
South Asian Community Health Services
St. Joseph’s General Hospital Elliot Lake
St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Withdrawal Management Services
St. Michael’s Hospital, Withdrawal Management Services
St. Michael’s Homes, Matt Talbot Houses
St. Stephen’s Community House
Steps to Recovery
Street Helpline
Toronto Bail Program
Toronto Distress Centre
Toronto East Health Network, Withdrawal Management Centre
Toronto Harbour Light Ministries
The Toronto Mental Health and Addictions Access Point
Transition House
Transitional & Supportive Housing Services Of York Region
William Osler Health System Withdrawal Management Centre
Women’s Own Withdrawal Management Centre
WoodGreen Community Services


Renascent is governed by two Boards of Directors: The Renascent Foundation and The Renascent Fellowship. Together they provide strategic governance and direction to the organization. The Foundation Board focuses on fundraising, revenue generation, asset management. The Fellowship Board focuses on the quality and scope of our treatment programs.

Renascent Fellowship Board

Suzanne Jaffe, President and Chair
Doug Wall, Treasurer
Mangesh Duggal
Rick Jatiouk
Rob Johnson
Pedram Kaya
Steve Kruspe
Susan Raphael
Raj Sohi
Patrick Wilson

Renascent Foundation Board

Suzanne Jaffe, President and Chair
Doug Wall, Treasurer
Stephanie Banfield
Mike Byrne
Marilynne Madigan
Sandy Shessel
Kathie Viner
Dan Walshe
Stephen Waymire

We would like to also recognize the following board members who have departed from a Renascent board in the past year after many years of service:

Kenneth Drabble
Sari Sairanen















Renascent Fellowship

Condensed Summary of Revenue and Expenditures for the year ended March 31, 2018





Toronto Central LHIN


Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care One-Time Funds


Renascent Foundation Service Provision Fee


Grants from Renascent Foundation








Men’s Residential, Outpatient and Continuing Care Treatment


Women’s Residential, Outpatient and Continuing Care Treatment


Family Program


Alumni Services


Total Expenses


Renascent Foundation

Condensed Summary of Revenue and Expenditures for the year ended March 31, 2018





Client Service Program Fees




Rental Income








Service Fees to Renascent Fellowship


Grant to Renascent Fellowship


Property Expenses, Insurance, Bank charges


Fundraising Costs


Client Service Program Administration


General Administration


Total Expenses


Foundation revenue over expenses: