Harvest House Ministries
3435 Ramsayville Rd. Ottawa, ON

Jon’s Story

Jon’s Story: Finding a “Place in this World”


When Jon arrived at Harvest House in 2019, he was desperate. His drug use had led to him living out of a rental car, selling drugs, and, eventually, to a jail cell.

Jon admits that he first called Harvest House because he was afraid of getting a lengthy prison sentence.

But along the way, something changed.

“I feel like it was a gradual change,” he says. “Being here. Being part of the community. Learning what a family is. Seeing people who were successful in the program. Seeing the pattern of people who left and ended up worse off than when they came. All of this motivated me to stay at Harvest House and take recovery more seriously.”

Today, Jon is four years sober and is successfully working a program of recovery. His future is bright!

In 2022, Jon passed the GED exam, earning his high school equivalency diploma. He was initially supposed to write the exam in the summer of 2020, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jon recounts how this kind of delay would usually have caused him to give up, but not this time! At Harvest House, he had begun learning how to stick with something even when it doesn’t happen right away.

In his time at Harvest House, Jon has become an example of success to new residents. He has taken on many new tasks, such as helping to build some of the beautiful, handmade wooden furniture in our skills development centre.

Jon attributes his success and his hope for the future to being part of a community at Harvest House where people love, support, encourage, and challenge him.

“The community members at Harvest House look out for each other, support each other, and will tell you what you need to hear to help you,” he says. “It’s unconditional love, which is something I had never experienced before.”

After being moved around between several foster homes as a child, Jon feels that he has finally found a place where he belongs. He’s found stability. He’s found a family at Harvest House and he reconnected with his sister who had not seen in 15 years.

“Harvest House has given me hope that it doesn’t matter where you come from – that in God’s time there’ll be a place for you in this world. And Harvest House is mine.”

Looking into his future, Jon wants to help other young men find the place of belonging and acceptance that he found. He is currently working towards earning his Addictions Worker Certificate with the hope of working at Harvest House as a counsellor.

Over the years, Harvest House has helped many graduates go on to become certified addiction counsellors. This provides Harvest House with a counselling staff who are familiar with the experience of addiction and recovery because they have gone through it themselves.

Jon with two of his fellow Harvest House graduates, Karol and Brian.