2007 - The Birth of Rising Above
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 to 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 and the focus continues to be addictions, but also includes anger, self-esteem, victims of abuse, anxiety, etc.
2008 - Rising Above Expands Program to Include Women
After one short year of operation, we opened our program up for women as well. This, of course, meant we needed gender specific housing for men and women. Soon we had two residential houses for women and men stayed onsite at Rising Above - downtown Grande Prairie.
2011 - Second Chance Furniture
Rising Above saw the opportunity to expand the Employment Readiness Training aspect of the program by opening up a social enterprise. Second Chance Furniture opened it's doors in Grande Prairie in 2011 and offered gently used furniture at affordable prices. Second Chance Furniture was the perfect place for participants in the program to learn important skills required for the workforce and gave them further sense of purpose in the program.
Due to increasing costs of operations, Second Chance Furniture closed it's doors in 2017.
2012 - Dawn of a New Era
By 2012 the parameters of our funding had changed and Rising Above was given one month’s notice before funding would be cut off. Up to this point, the ministry had been fully funded to the tune of $600,000.00 annually. 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 a 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 limped along for the next few months. While we limped, the Lord was preparing a new path for our ministry by working in the hearts of community members. Before we knew it, people, businesses, and churches began partnering with us and the ministry began to stabilize and grow. The Lord took something seemingly bad and used it to open a new chapter for Rising Above - the "Non-Profit" chapter! We are proud to be an organization that is fueled by the generosity of people who believe in what we do.
2017 - Rising Above's New Home
In 2017, Rising Above entered into a 15 year lease agreement with the City of Grande Prairie to rent the former Young Offenders Centre. With our growing program, a building expansion was a vital step so we could continue to provide people with the best care possible. The former YOC provides our organization with the space and amenities needed to accommodate the growing need for addiction services in our region.
2019 - Rising Above Licensed Through Alberta Government
Rising Above became licensed through the Mental Health Services Protection Act on November 1st, 2019. This Act provides a foundation to ensure safe, quality addiction and mental health care. The Act also provides authority to licensed residential addiction treatment facilities and outlines core requirements that must be met.
2020 - Hope Haven
For years, we have seen great value in opening a second stage facility for those exiting our program. It had been on our minds, but didn't become a reality until January, 2020. We are now operating a second stage apartment complex called "Hope Haven". Hope Haven offers 8 units and 14 bedrooms, is within walking distance of Rising Above, and enables tenants to continue living in a safe and sober environment while being closely tied to the Rising Above program.
As our organization continues to grow, expansion is inevitable. With this knowledge and the deep desire to see Rising Above expand into other communities in Northern Alberta, we have seen the value in pursuing accreditation. As of November 2020, Rising Above has started the process of accreditation through the Canadian Accreditation Council. The purpose of accreditation is to support the creation and maintenance of viable structures, processes, and practices that allow organizations to offer the best possible programs and services to their clients. We look forward to working with the Canadian Accreditation Council as we work towards becoming an accredited agency!