Identity & Origins

A healthy community where all people feel connected and have opportunities to discover and build on their strengths to reach their full potential.

The Phoenix Society is a multi-service agency dedicated to providing accessible services and opportunities to people who face barriers related to addiction, mental health, housing, education, criminal justice involvement and/ or employment.

Phoenix Society was established in 1989 as a judgement-free community for people seeking support with substance use. Understanding that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive, we expanded our approach to address the interconnection of substance use and the social determinants of health, applying the principles of health equity and social justice for underserved and marginalized populations. We expanded our services to include housing and health care supports, whether service recipients were directly or indirectly impacted by substance use. Over time, we have become a learning organization, adjusting our approaches and practices to align with evidence based research and trauma-informed best practices to provide the highest quality care to those we serve.

Value: Social Justice

Equal access to health, well-being, justice, wealth and opportunity.

We work towards building a community and a world where resources and knowledge are distributed more equally. We address issues and seek solutions to alleviate oppression and structural inequality.

Our programs are carefully structured to ensure meaningful connections in order to facilitate sustainable recovery. Phoenix Society responds to human deprivation by improving the lives of marginalized citizens, empowering previously silent or excluded social groups by creating new capabilities and transforming exclusionary mechanisms into inclusionary strategies.

We serve individual citizens rather than “addicts,” “the homeless” or other distancing terms. We believe that when citizens become marginalized, they are deprived of the ability to participate in the social, economic, political and cultural life of the community. Our purpose, then, is to empower and to build the capabilities of citizens to fully participate in community life. It is in this way that we can all become the unresigned and uncontainable spirits that we as human beings really are.

Value: Relationships

Built on Safety, Trust, and Integrity

We strongly believe in building relationships on foundations of safety, trust, and integrity. We acknowledge that these safe relationships allow the heart to open and permit trust and hope for the future to take root. We recognize that we are accountable in all our relations with others. Therefore we will quickly acknowledge our mistakes and actively make an effort to repair breaches that inevitably occur in relationships.

We know that these values in action build trust, and most importantly, build trustworthy platforms for further collaboration, cooperation, creativity and accomplishment. We always strive to fulfill the commitments we make.

Value: Social Innovation

For Individual and Community Well Being

Our dedication to social innovation and community well being demonstrates the process of continuous renewal. The safety and health of our communities is everyone’s responsibility. In the spirit of renewal, we actively create safe, inclusive spaces and opportunities allowing citizens and communities to flourish.

The challenge of eliminating addiction and poverty is enormous and can only be achieved by working at multiple levels. We build relationships across disciplines and across sectors in order to achieve maximum impact on the broader determinants of health in our community. This involves actively pursuing positive change at four levels:

  • Individual
  • Group
  • Organization
  • Institutional

Value: Strength Based

Discover and build on the strengths within our community

Our Strength-based practice is a social work practice theory that emphasizes people’s self-determination and strengths. It is a philosophy and a way of viewing our residents and staff as resourceful and resilient in the face of adversity. In other terms it enhances strengths, and builds on characteristics that are already present in individuals.

We thrive in knowing we base our practice on “Whats Strong”. So many individuals take a look at weaknesses and build from those, Phoenix chooses to look at where things are right and build from that. We have implemented VIA Character Strengths, new modules as well as training for staff.

These values have guided us in our leadership in moving from disconnection and fragmentation and towards connection, collaboration, cooperation and partnership while promoting peace, justice and sustainability.

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Individual Change

We actively build awareness of how the social, economic and political world shapes our consciousness, our ideas of who we are, our place in the world and the kind of world we are bringing into being. We are mindful of our privileges and how they affect the way we interact and connect with participants. We want there to be a culture of inclusion, not division, where everyone is human and at the same level.

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Group Change

We learn and grow as a community. We are committed to learning how to create conditions where individuals and communities flourish. We focus on our strengths as individuals and as a group. We acknowledge and celebrate differences in the perspectives of others, and are open to questioning our existing routines and policies. We believe we learn and grow when we take time to listen deeply to each other and support each other and actively invite voices that are often less heard.

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Organizational Change

Phoenix cultivates and sustains a culture of inquiry. We encourage energetic conversations about our practices across diverse perspectives and challenge each other respectfully. We practice and model an openness to learning as well as an openness to process work which inevitably emerges as we begin to reflect on how the lived experiences of participants affects us and challenges our understandings of our own lives. We promote inquiry into what is happening and how we are making sense of events, including how participants are making sense of us, our behaviours, decisions and actions.

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Institutional Change

It is widely accepted that the health and well-being of people is largely influenced by the socio-economic conditions in which they live. Our vision for a healthy community therefore, sees individuals, communities, neighbourhoods, governments, business and other sectors devising strategies and goals to realize the vision of healthy communities. Everyone can, and indeed everyone is needed to participate to create a healthy future.

If you are seeking a healthy and positive community free of substance misuse, contact us today.