providing a proven, long-term, holistic approach to treating addiction and mental health concurrent disorders – encompassing one’s physical, mental, spiritual, social, emotional and educational needs – within a highly structured and supportive community.
Established in 1985, Caritas School of Life is Canada’s second oldest Therapeutic Community which today includes the only 24-month Men’s Bed-Based Program in North America; and an In-Patient Men’s Detox Centre. It also operates three Outpatient programs, Addiction Services for Women, and Men & Women’s Withdrawal Management; as well as a Family Support Group.
Caritas School of Life applies its holistic treatment approach across a collaborative wellness network of Canada’s leading provincial and local organizations, including Addiction Services of Central Ontario as the lead agency supported by Vita Nova, Krasman Centre, Black Creek Community Centre, Across Boundaries, and Elizabeth Fry.
Caritas School of Life has earned an impeccable reputation within the addiction and mental health sector, and by all those it has treated, supported and assisted. To date, Caritas School of Life has provided treatment and support services to 18,000 people, and 36,000 family members, for a total of over 50,000 lives impacted.
Caritas School of Life is a member of the Therapeutic Communities of America and the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities.providing a proven, long-term, holistic approach to treating addiction and mental health concurrent disorders – encompassing one’s physical, mental, spiritual, social, emotional and educational needs – within a highly structured and supportive community.
Caritas School of Life is a member of the Therapeutic Communities of America and the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities.
A world where anyone suffering from addiction and mental health concurrent disorders has accessible treatment and ongoing support – enabling them to heal, and empowering them to cope with any of life’s challenges.
The seeds for what would become Caritas were planted in 1980, when a distraught mother searching to help her son who was struggling with substances turned to her local priest at Transfiguration of Our Lord Church in Etobicoke. Father Gianni Carparelli then made it his mission to find proper assistance for that mother and the many others he soon met needing the same support.
Father Gianni began by organizing a parent’s support group, which would meet weekly to discuss their situations as well as problems affecting society. He also began researching programs in other countries, and learned that much of Europe had adopted a Therapeutic Community approach which had existed in the U.S. for 20 years.
He visited his country of origin, and began nurturing relationships with therapeutic communities throughout different regions of Italy. After personally investigating each community, he began referring Canadians in need to enroll in these programs in Italy.
He continued with weekly parent support group meetings, and established a weekly group meeting for individuals who were struggling in search of help, which led to a day program.
Father Gianni began recruiting Canadians returning from Italy upon completion of their programs. Their therapeutic community experiences were used to shape the Caritas residential program and the Caritas Therapeutic Community which launched in 1985.
Caritas held its first annual “Together Event” in 1989 to educate the community and raise awareness regarding the needs of those struggling and their families. Caritas became a Canadian registered charity in 1994 and began operating as a highly structured non-medical “Therapeutic Community” with a long-term men’s residential program at its core.
If we want to help people process toward maturity and responsibility, we must be able to offer them an environment that includes direction, logic, and a consistent system of values.
In doing so, their journey will be filled with a disciplined lifestyle, profound respect, and love. This is why we offer a multidimensional holistic approach to problems like addiction. The community and the family must be present in this approach and its process.
Our programs and services are for everyone who believe that life is a journey we have been called to understand, to nurture, to love. This process starts from the honesty and humility of accepting the challenge of changing our direction in life.
Father Gianni Carparelli,