I feel in Life, that you are meant to cross paths with certain people! Our family was so happy and lucky that our paths crossed with that of Chris Steffler. As a family with two addicted children, we had experienced years of trying everything to help our children overcome their struggles and see the beauty of recovery. It wasn’t until we met Chris that we were able to introduce our son to a caring, strong individual that had been able to overcome addiction and homelessness. Chris was an inspiration to our son JD and often went out of his way to help JD get to counselling, treatment, to the hospital or just to have a coffee and a bite to eat. Chris was always there for us when we couldn’t be for our son, and as a parent, Chris helped us stay strong and supportive. Our son is now almost 3 years clean and I believe that the strength and support of caring people like Chris has been a big part of his recovery. For this we are forever grateful!
Chris and I shared an office. I noticed one day on our bookshelf a 12 step book which I knew came from AA. At this point in my life, I had a daughter struggling with addiction. I asked Chris about the book and explained my struggles with helping my child through a very low point in her life after she completed a rehab residency. He then revealed that he too had struggled with addiction without getting into details but offered to speak to and guide her. He confided that in his spare time, he spoke to others in addiction recovery to explain how it was possible to overcome those demons and live a fuller and richer life. He’d been a guest speaker at my daughters rehab. It was years before I learned the full story about how far down the tunnel he had fallen. Those details brought me to tears. I then realised why that book stayed on our bookshelf….it helped him to stay strong in his commitment.
Several years ago I met Christopher at a fundraiser for Beauty Night Society. Beauty Night offers programming to build self esteem and change the lives of women and youth living in poverty. Christopher wanted to find out more about the work we do and how he could support us. He is incredibly active in the recovery community. With his work with the men participating in the recovery programs at Together We Can, he organized a motorcycle ride to raise money for our cause! The ride started at one of the recovery homes and finished at the Recovery Day celebrations in New West. It was such a pleasure to get to know them men he worked with and to learn what a role model he is for them. The ones I spoke to were thrilled to be participating in acts of service to raise much needed funds to support our programs.
Chris and I met 14 years ago as fellow members in recovery. This was a time that I was still trying to find myself and wanted to latch on to others that had the same drive to get better. This is where I was immediately drawn to befriend Chris. At the time I was organizing a meeting on Bowen Island every Monday in a treatment centre. Living in Vancouver, this proved to be a daunting task. It was difficult to arrange speakers willing to come with me and take 4-6 hours out of their evening, get on a ferry, go speak at a rehab center, to get home at 11pm on a Monday evening. This is when I learned how keen Chris was to share his experience and help others. Every single time I asked him, he was there (and that was at least a half dozen occasions). When we finished each meeting at the center, it was inevitable that a new member in the center would come to Chris with a million questions on how to achieve sobriety. I usually had to drag Chris away from these conversations out of fear of missing the last ferry back to Vancouver. He always ended up sharing his number and made sure they knew they had his support when they got out.