Our full name is Family Outreach Ontario Christian Addiction Support Services (FOOCASS) but we usually just refer to ourselves as Family Outreach Ontario or simply Family Outreach. We are a faith-based, inter-denominational, not-for-profit organization that is attempting to provide at least one good Christian response to the very real problem of alcohol and drug addiction with special interest within the Christian community.
Family Outreach was started up in Hamilton in 1986 through the efforts of Dr. Alex DeJong who was a Minister of a Christian Reformed Church (CRC). Dr. DeJong was a wonderful Christian man who had victory in his own personal struggle with alcoholism. Initially Family Outreach was a CRC ministry initiative with an outreach to other CRC churches in Ontario. Later this was extended to other Reformed denominations. In 2008 Family Outreach became incorporated and therefore completely independent of any single church or denomination. Today, our mandate is to reach out anywhere God takes us with a special focus within the Christian Community. At the same time, however, we are but a small organization and we remain entirely dependent on individuals and the churches we serve for prayer and financial support.
Family Outreach is made up of volunteers who are sensitive to the dynamics of addictions because either they or someone they loved dearly suffered with alcoholism or drug addiction. These volunteers have a first-hand understanding of the physical manifestations of substance abuse, the destructive and even deadly consequences of it, and, most importantly, how God’s grace can provide healing when all else seems hopeless. This life experience alone qualifies them as being perfectly suitable to walk alongside those who are currently working through or otherwise struggling with these same issues. And all of this is scriptural as the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.