Angie Lohr, the Founder and President of HOPE Outreach, spent the afternoon with us sharing her heartfelt story of how she came back from the darkness to not only save herself, but now dedicates so much of her time helping others.
Angie grew up in Winnipeg in a loving, middle class Christian home. After she completed two degrees in University, Angie went on to a career in marketing. She also got married. Life was good until the husband she loved deeply was repeatedly hospitalized for mental illness. The marriage eventually ended and her life’s course started on a downward spiral, if almost by chance.
Never a big drinker, she was 28-years old when one evening, surrounded by friends, she accepted an offer to get high. She knew the source and thought she was safe. Later, she would learn she was freebasing cocaine; known as smoking crack. That one night led to a decade of addiction, petty crime to pay for her habit, and eventually prostitution.
After 13 years of living with addiction, Angie left her hometown of Winnipeg for Calgary. She was determined to make a clean start. “I awoke one day and had a massive spiritual experience.” she said, “A little bit of hope filled me, that’s all it was.” It was from here that Angie once again transformed her life’s course, now bringing positivity into her life and the lives of others.
Founded in 2008, HOPE (Helping Out People Exploited) aims to be a voice for vulnerable women who do not yet have their own. HOPE is a volunteer outreach organization who’s mandate is to help homeless and exploited women reclaim their lives and discover their true potential by overcoming the challenges of exploitation, addiction and cultural circumstances. HOPE focuses its attention in Kelowna and Vernon, specifically in the downtown cores. Completely funded by donation, HOPE actively organizes numerous fundraisers and raises community awareness via talks, events, and cultural gatherings.
In 2012, Angie won the Courage To Come Back Award in the addictions category, which is awarded to people who overcome obstacles and give back to the community.
We are inspired by Angie. All of us at CTQ would like to thank her for taking the time to share her story with us and for all she does giving back to the community and those most in need.
For more about HOPE Outreach, please visit hopeokanagan.com