“I made the conscious decision in jail not to give up on my faith,” said David Jeanvenne. “I was sitting in a jail cell weighing out my options to continue using drugs or get some help.”
After he was released from jail, David was put in contact with The Salvation Army and completed the Anchorage Addiction program in Ottawa in 2018. He now lives at The Salvation Army Transition House where he continues his recovery.
David now 53 is over 10 months clean. It’s been a long hard road for him, starting at the young age of 12 when he began smoking pot and by age 13 he was using cocaine. At the age of 14, David was living on the streets.
“I didn’t have the best role models growing up in Ottawa. My mother was an escort and an alcoholic and my only memory of my father is of him being in a federal penitentiary,” he said.
David explains he suffered every type of abuse imaginable as a child from neglect, assault and sexual abuse.
David says his first attempt at recovery began 4 years ago. He got clean for the first time when he was about to lose his family.
“I was one year clean but I was faking it, I was doing it for the wrong reason,” he said.
“Before this I held jobs and ran businesses, but I always went back to cocaine and being self-destructive,” said David.
David says it was during that time that he experienced what he describes as a divine intervention that changed his life.
“Something special happened and I started to believe that HE existed,” said David.
After being released from jail, David wanted to choose a Christian based recovery program and that is how he came to choose The Salvation Army.
“I pray to God every morning, I pray at every meal and I ask HIM to forgive me every night,” he said. “My goals now are to be a real father and be a real man. I have 2 beautiful sons and an amazing forgiving wife.”
David is now focusing on his recovery at The Salvation Army Transition House.
“If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army trust me I wouldn’t be here today, I would be dead,” said David.
“The Salvation Army is an amazing place filled with honest and warm people. It saved me,” said David. “If you put the work into your recovery and you follow their guidelines and stay true to yourself, it’s going to work.”
As for the future David dreams of one day learning to support others who are suffering from addictions.
“I know it’s going to be a big hurdle, but I would like to get into the field to give back,” said David. “I owe The Salvation Army my life.”
Place of Hope
The Salvation Army’s Transitional House in Ottawa is a non-profit housing program that provides short-term affordable lodging with minimum support to 16 single adult men, many with backgrounds that include homelessness, addictions, incarceration and mental illness.
The facility offers a fresh start for men seeking to achieve a successful transition from the streets to community living. At Transitional House, the men pursue independent living, develop socialization skills and learn how to live within their means.