Mission Services rolls out new program to treat men with addictions

Today was the day, that Mission Services officially rolled out a new program, to treat men with addictions.

At the age of 59, Bill Ward is putting his life back together. “You know i had the BMW parked in the front driveway. That’s kind of where i was 10 years ago, and in two years, I was sleeping in the back of my van.”

It was a familiar story, rooted in familiar reasons. “It was a whole bunch of activities. Gambling being one of them. Drugs just became another part of that. It was really…everything was to do with escape.”

Mission Services had been running men’s addiction programs for nearly four decades. But when Paddi Bowen took over two years ago, she felt the program needed more. “I think we need to look at this. I think we need to review our programming. Let’s just check out where it could go. And in order to make that happen, we brought somebody in to be the kind of agent of change. The person who would move that process along.”

Ashley Ward, turned out to be that agent. Originally from Toronto, she found something special in Hamilton. “Hamilton has a very much a collaborative vibe to it. So you get to see different voices being brought in.”

And one of those voices, belonged to Bill and others like him, who put the client, back into client services.


  1. Personally I am happy for Bill Ward, his willingness to share his story and success is inspiring in so many ways. However as someone from Hamilton I am disappointed in Mission Services (At least their PR team) and CHCH, for not giving credit where credit is due. The report praises one person (Miss Ward) as an “agent of change”. Did Mission Services role Bill’s success come from Miss Ward’s changes directly? Or from the hard working staff already in place at Mission Services? If it is the latter, then why wasn’t this highlighted? Sobriety is a journey, and a process. If this is a new program I sincerely doubt Mission Services’ contribution to Bill’s journey was Miss Ward’s new program.

    No one can downplay the strength of Bill’s character, or determination as it is truly something to be admired. I however feel that propping an organization up on the shoulders of one or two people is shortsighted and downplays and past success the Suntrac program has provided to the residents of Hamilton.

    I would like to be clear it is not my intention to downplay or discredit any of Miss Ward’s contributions past, present, or future. Mission Services has a rich history, and I praise the organization the way I do because I know that an organization cannot be successful without staff passionate about making a difference in the lives of those in their community. Failing to recognize them is a terrific way to alienate great people, who are guiding, supporting, and motivating men when they are at their worst and cheering the loudest when they are at their best.

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