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Motivation, to inspiration, to success

October 30, 2012

Brian Chiasson still has remnants of his Labrador/Newfoundland accent. He opens our interview by saying “I am in recovery – for 21 years.”

In order to stay clean, Brian decided he would work to help others. He became an addictions counsellor and then, when an opportunity came, he moved to Vancouver. He looked for the most challenging treatment centre he could find, which happened to be Miracle Valley, a centre now closed that was run by the Salvation Army.

During the course of helping people recover from addictions, Brian felt there was a piece missing in the treatment model. “When you finish, where do you go, where do you live, work, who are your friends?” He looked at the men who left treatment: “they were as clean and sober as they were going to get but they didn’t know how to live.” And he thought back to his own treatment where he had felt that the wrong things were asked and other, important questions, were not asked. Wanting to work with multi-barriered people, he approached the BC government with a program to teach work skills to men and lobbied long and hard to be able to also teach the life skills that he felt were essential to success. Once his plan was accepted, in 1998 he set up Triangle Community Resources (see previous post), a private company. He started working with men in Maple Ridge. Then over the years expanded to Mission, Abbotsford, Surrey, Chilliwack and Langley. Then Triangle started to work as well with women and aboriginals.

His program gave people a “chance to stop and breathe and think ‘what do I need?'” Questions they answered in the course of treatment were ‘who am I, what do I want to do, how do I make that happen’, questions they had never been asked before. The program is extremely successful.

I was curious why Triangle was run as a private company (see my previous article about how, in a way, it is a nonprofit) when the expectation is an organization like Triangle is usually a non-profit. Brian says he was always in business for himself and so it was natural for him. He also worried that with a non-profit organization, he would have other people telling him what to do and would be spending inordinate amounts of time looking for funding. Someone who did go the non-profit route said to him, “Don’t lose your vision. Our board chased the money and we lost our vision.” He took that advice to heart.

Brian’s enthusiasm is contagious. It spreads to clients, their families, his staff and to me, his interviewer. More on Brian’s work with multiple barrier clients next week.

Please come back to visit.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Cathy permalink
    October 30, 2012 5:11 pm

    The best place I ever worked. Brian’s vision , his commitment and his passion is contagious. Miracles happened at Triangle everyday because of the committment of the staff and the hard work of the clients. I am forever changed because I worked there

    • October 30, 2012 5:45 pm

      It is a rare workplace that inspires such comments from current and former staff. It speaks volumes about Triangle, Brian, the staff and the countless people who have been helped over the years.

  2. Marlisse permalink
    October 30, 2012 4:13 pm

    My name is Marlisse :) and I am the staff standing with Lorraine in your first blog. I am also a Triangle graduate. I graduated in 2007 group #47 in Mission. When I went to Triangle I was…at that time, diagnosed with panic disorder, anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia. I had not left my house in over a year. I was a shut in. I was 32 and I lived my life in complete fear. And did not know how to fix it. Nor did I think Triangle would be able to help. I was very reluctant to go into a group setting, more so, to tell anyone what I was going through as I did not think anyone would understand or care. I was NOT going to be cured, that was not even a thought. To be completely honest..I just wanted my check from income assistance and this was the only way I would get it. To make a long story short…The Triangle program saved my life. I was given tools to use in my day to day life. I learned a new way of thinking. A new way to communicate. And with each lesson over that 6 weeks my fear was replaced with confidence. I was empowered! I was told I was smart, and people believed in me. I had never had that before. And they meant it! Shortly after graduating I got my first real job and started my career!! I became and administrator then moved up to case management then facilitating! I facilitated classes of up to 18 people! Me!! The agoraphobia who never answered her phone… let alone left her house!! After 3 years of new doors opining and challenging myself to do things I never thought possible (and would NEVER have done before Triangle) I had the chance to interview for a position at Triangle. I wanted it so bad!! I knew their level of client services. I knew how much they put into every soul that walks through the doors. And I wanted so badly to give back what I felt was given to me. I am so proud today to be an employee of Triangle Community Services. And could not ask for better employers than Brian and Lorraine. I want to thank them and Triangle for what they gave me and my family. From Motivation to inspiration to success!! THANK YOU!!!!

  3. Maryann permalink
    October 30, 2012 1:19 pm

    Triangle was the best place I ever worked at…. Brian’s vision allowed many people to reach their dreams and goals…

    • October 30, 2012 2:40 pm

      So great to hear from someone who worked at Triangle and knows firsthand what they accomplish. I was so impressed by the program and the dedication of the people who work there. Thanks for your comment

  4. October 30, 2012 12:47 pm

    Very interesting to hear about a “do-good” organization that is not a nonprofit. So many nonprofits spend much of their energy fundraising.


  1. What’s your dream? Triangle Community Resources « Giving is Receiving

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