Rising Above History
Rising Above began in 2007. The Church, in which Mel Siggelkow was the pastor, was in the process of purchasing a storefront property on 100th Ave in Grande Prairie. This property had a dorm like, residential space on a second floor. The church leadership envisioned that space could become a recovery center. That was a long term goal as the church needed the rental income from the facility help cover the mortgage for the property. While the church was still in the process of securing financing to purchase the facility, the City of Grande Prairie asked for organizations to submit a proposal on how to assist homeless people and give them the supports they needed to help them get back into the workforce. A submission was made outlining a program that involved safe housing, life-skill training, employment readiness training, and counselling that dealt with underlying issues. The City of Grande Prairie responded favorably and agreed to fund our proposal. Rising Above was born before the Church had finalized the purchase of the facility.
In the beginning Rising Above was a program for men, the focus soon became addiction recovery and the mandate became “Helping People Break Cycles of Defeat”. Our mandate has not changed. The focus continues to be addictions but also includes anger, self-esteem, victims of abuse, anxiety, etc.
After a year of developing the men’s program we added a women’s program. Soon we had two residential houses for women. Altogether we had 10 beds for men and 7 for women.
In 2011 we opened “Second Chance Furniture” to enhance our job-readiness training. This social enterprise serves the community by providing access to gently used furniture at affordable prices.
By 2012 the parameters of the funding had changed and Rising Above was given one month’s notice and the funding would be cut off. Up to this point the ministry had been fully funded. It appeared that Rising Above would have to close its doors. A spontaneous prayer meeting was called and 40 people from 10 different churches packed into our small classroom and prayed. The board came away from that prayer meeting with a strong sense that we were to keep going. We downsized the program and the staff. And for the next few months we limped along. People, businesses, and churches began partnering with us the ministry began to stabilize and grow. Now Rising Above has grown to a place where we are now larger than when were fully funded.
Besides the residential program, we are now able to provided supports to those who don’t need the housing but are trapped in cycles of defeat. Many people from the community come for “Inner Healing” and are finding freedom for “cycles of defeat”. As well we have been doing series of community presentations: Understanding Addictions, Understanding Ange, Understanding Self-esteem, Understanding Emotions, Understanding Shame and Guilt, and Understanding Relationships.