About Us Who We Are

Who We Are

The Journey Begins

Our work in Peterborough began with a group of people who shared a desire to help those in our community who struggle with self-defeating behaviour and addictions. Each member of the steering team have carried this desire for many years and have looked for a path forward to turn this passion into concrete action that has a demonstrated capacity to impact lives and bring people into greater freedom and wholeness. In our journey we became aware of an addiction program in Alberta that offers a unique blend of programs and services designed to address the needs of the individual in a wholistic approach. The Alberta program called, Rising Above Ministries was established in Grande Prairie, AB in 2007. This program is licensed with the Alberta Government as an addiction treatment centre and has been accredited by the Canadian Accreditation Council.


Our Model

We decided to model our approach after the Rising Above program in Alberta, believing it represented the best path forward for us in Peterborough. The objectives of the Rising Above program in Grande Prairie (RA-GP) are designed to help individuals to gain tools and new skills needed to be self-sufficient members of society who no longer need substances to cope with life. The program is intended to help participants have a better understanding of who they are and to be able to see themselves as people of worth and value and to help them to heal and, where possible, rebuild family and friend relationships. This program is offered through a 6-month residency program that provides a safe stable environment for healing.

The success of the program is, in part, evident by the number of applications. In 2022, a total of 417 individuals applied for enrolment. Unfortunately, RA-GP could accommodate only 102 participants, primarily due to bed capacity. The current facilities have 19 beds for men, 17 beds for women and 15 beds for second-stage housing intended to bring families back together. Plans are currently moving forward to construct a new 3-story multipurpose building that will house an additional 28 beds. Other markers of success include numerous personal testimonies (posted on the RA-GP website) highlighting how lives are changed. 95% of participants state that they feel better able to deal with their situation since attending the program. RA-GP receives a significant portion of their operating budget from private donors, underscoring the high level of support by the community and surrounding region.


Does the Model Fit Peterborough?

During the last two years, the Peterborough group has spent time with staff from Rising Above Ministries in Grande Prairie (RA-GP) to determine if our initial confidence in the Rising Above approach was warranted. This lead to discussions with interested parties in Peterborough to assess the level of interest and support for a similar approach in this region. In the spring of 2023 we were able to bring Mel Siggelkow, founder of Rising Above Ministries, to Peterborough so that those who were interested could hear first-hand what Rising Above offers. Later in the fall of 2023, members of the Peterborough steering team visited RA-GP for further discussions. An outcome from this relationship has been the willingness of RA-GP to share their programming, policies and expertise so that a Rising Above Ministry program (now called RA-PTBO) could be developed in Peterborough. Members of the steering team will be traveling to Grande Prairie in the spring of 2024 for additional training.


The Peterborough Steering Team

The Peterborough steering team consists of a people with diverse experiences and training, but with a unified vision to see people with addictions walking in greater wholeness. Within the team we have vocational Christian leaders, while others come from private sector business, finance, administration, education, research along with building and design. Common amongst the team is a demonstrated care for the marginalized and vulnerable within our community.

 Members of the steering team currently provide guidance during the initial beginnings of this program and will function as both volunteer workers tasked to help deliver the program and as a temporary board of governors. Currently there are efforts to secure a dedicated board of governors who will provide independent oversight of this work once the program officially begins.


The steering team currently includes: 

Marlies Coros, Gord Balch, Cathy Balch, Scott Couper, Steve Verge, Tracy Verge, Jennifer Kloosterman and Will Coros (pictured below at our Unveiling Event).

Photo of Steering Committee