The Phoenix Society Team

Participants can expect staff to be welcoming, accepting, and non-judgmental.

The Phoenix Society Team

The mission of Phoenix Drug & Alcohol Recovery & Education Society is to encourage and assist British Columbians in achieving personal, family and community health, free from substance misuse.

Residents who participate in our programs often face complex issues like substance misuse, homelessness, justice system involvement, unemployment and compromised mental health.

Participants can expect staff to be welcoming, accepting, and non-judgmental.

Staff Stories

Read more on Veronica Muniak

Veronica Muniak

Phoenix gave me opportunities to take my strengths and fully use them Veronica Muniak has had a lifetime of lived experience that has helped her move forward in the addiction recovery field. As someone in recovery herself, she was at first anxious about applying for employment at Phoenix. But when she started as a program…

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Read more on Myla McInnis

Myla McInnis

Working to help others find work… Can someone who has been homeless or been addicted to alcohol or drugs find a job? This isn’t just a philosophical question for Myla McInnis. Instead, it’s a practical, real-life challenge she deals with every day she walks into work as employment program manager for Phoenix. As manager, she…

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Read more on Bill Dunne

Bill Dunne

Taking time to see the person rather than the problem In his 26 years as a substance use counsellor — 14 of them at Phoenix — Bill Dunne calculates he’s worked with more than 7,000 clients. “These people are not damaged or immoral or bad,” he says, “most have just lost their way in life…

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Read more on Ryan Bathgate

Ryan Bathgate

Our currency is love Ryan Bathgate has a diploma as a professional counsellor and a certificate as an addictions worker. But his most important training is that he spent a lifetime affected by addiction. “It’s been such a blessing for me to work here,” he says with reflection. “I have a deep sense of gratitude…

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Read more on Rashidi Yesufu

Rashidi Yesufu

It’s a place that allows for growth in every sense of the word When Rashidi Yesufu started working at Phoenix four years ago, he was a residential program assistant. He remembers being in the admission office and meeting a gentleman who was desperate to enroll. “We have a waiting period,” Rashidi says and, as a…

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Read more on Larry Hayes

Larry Hayes

‘We’ve all made mistakes, some more serious than others’ Names are important. And as the assistant manager for Phoenix Society’s Rising Sun residences — where some 25 parolees live — Larry Hayes does not call these people “offenders.” “We call them residents,” he says simply. “That’s just part of the way we approach people. We…

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Read more on David Renaud

David Renaud

‘Phoenix helps people feel they are part of a community again’ On his first day in Vancouver — as a new social work student at UBC— David Renaud found himself at Main and Hastings Street at 1 am. “I was shocked,” he says. But the reason for his shock will astonish many readers. “I’d heard…

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Read more on Daniel Marks

Daniel Marks

‘I belong to a community of acceptance and caring and love’ Daniel Marks believes every individual as unique. And that approach fits in well with the Phoenix recovery philosophy. “We don’t typecast anyone,” he says. “Everybody is different and they don’t have to recover in exactly the same way.” At Phoenix, Dan manages 19 people,…

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Read more on Kim Brazil

Kim Brazil

‘Everyone is a unique person with unique needs’ Like many people who work at Phoenix, issues relating to addiction are personal for Kim Brazil. Her mother died of alcoholism, and the same challenge faced others in Kim’s family. So, as she puts it, she feels close to the cause. “I grew up with alcoholism around…

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Read more on Randie Guest

Randie Guest

‘Chef, I miss your food...’ Randie Guest has been making a living as a cook since he was 14 years old. Some people might think that his career highlights — apprenticing at the Pan Pacific Hotel and being executive chef for the Pacific Inn Resort — would dwarf his current job as executive chef for…

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Read more on Linda Fumano

Linda Fumano

Walking in another person’s shoes… Linda Fumano has a degree in criminology. But, more important than that, she has a bounty of empathy. As the program manager for the Corrections Services Canada Program at Phoenix, Linda is responsible for overseeing two floors and five transitional suites for 20 male parolees. Some people might see the…

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Read more on Charles Ayotte

Charles Ayotte

‘The opposite of addiction is connection’ A Cree elder who has worked at Phoenix for more than 16 years, Charles Ayotte still remembers a homeless Abbotsford man who was terrified of connecting with people. The fellow had been discharged from hospital a week earlier, minus a third of his liver. “He was very sick and…

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Read more on Nate McCready

Nate McCready

Using the power of a strengths-based model Why is the Phoenix program so successful? As the operation’s Director of Programs, Nate McCready has an answer. “A lot of recovery is deficit-based,” he says. Other programs revolve around ‘this is what’s wrong; this is what you have to fix.’ “But at Phoenix,” he explains, “you’re a…

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Read more on Rebecca Legge

Rebecca Legge

‘It’s not about willpower. It’s a chronic disease…’ A passionate advocate for people with addictions, medical doctor Rebecca Legge has devoted her life’s work to helping reduce suffering. An addictions specialist who spends two mornings a week at Phoenix, she is the attending physician who sees everyone coming into treatment at least once, and, some, many more times than…

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Read more on Chris Sears

Chris Sears

Phoenix Kwantlen program helps adults enjoy learning An English professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Chris Sears also teaches adult basic education at the Phoenix Kwantlen program. With up to 15 students in a class at any given time he helps bring a love of learning to people who usually started life fearing education. “Many of the students…

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Read more on Kegan Doyle

Kegan Doyle

Humanities 101 has a profound impact on students, teachers This is the first in a series of written posts, photos and videos celebrating the stories of our community. American social critic and writer Earl Shorris defined poverty as an absence of reflection and beauty, not an absence of money. Although Shorris died in 2012, his ideas live…

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Contact us to learn more about our team.