About Portage


Portage recently received the following letter of appreciation from a foster father who had taken in a graduate from the Portage drug rehabilitation program in Elora a few years ago. It is a heartwarming story that, as he says, “illustrates the underlying strength of the Portage treatment program.”

The letter was addressed to Portage Elora’s Facility Director, Gaetano DiFalco.

Dear Gaetano,

I would like to share a story with you that illustrates the underlying strength of the Portage treatment program.

My wife and I first met Dave when we welcomed him into our Elora home after he completed the Portage Program. Having completed residential rehabilitation, Dave was eager to start the next chapter of his life, affirming that he would maintain good high school attendance, look after his room and stay away from drugs. He also volunteered to do extra chores around the home and even helped our neighbour repaint her storm windows.

Sadly, the temptations of mainstream society pulled Dave back into some old drug habits and, as a result, he could no longer stay with us. It was difficult saying goodbye to Dave and our family often worried about him. We occasionally heard updates about his situation; he was working for this brother on construction projects and making progress in his recovery. We eventually lost touch, but I was always hopeful that things would turn out well for Dave.

I was leaving our house one Sunday afternoon when I saw a young couple with their dog walking up our street. They crossed towards me and I heard my name called. Dave gave me a warm hug and introduced his friend, Michelle. He asked if he might show her where he had stayed while he was with us. I was able to enjoy seeing my wife’s surprise at Dave’s return, as well as her pleasure at receiving a flowering plant and a card. The card included an apology for having given her so much trouble.

They dropped in about two months later for another visit. A little later on, there came an invitation to the wedding of Dave and Michelle. My wife and I were made welcome at one of the most joyful and meaningful wedding celebrations that we have ever experienced.

Reconnecting with Dave and seeing him embark on a loving and productive life with Michelle illustrates the enduring strength of Portage’s program. Although the journey to be free from addiction may have its challenges, former residents like Dave are instilled with the self-confidence, self-knowledge, and competencies to pick oneself back up after each battle. Thank you for having a positive impact on Dave’s life.

Kind regards,

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