Psalm 23 Transition Society executive director Marvin Declare (l) presents Lone Butte resident Marcus Reich with a certificate that signifies he has graduated from the program. Reich now intends to return to Psalm 23 in a mentorship capacity and help others who have experienced the same struggles he has. (Photo credit: Submitted)

Lone Butte man beats addiction, now seeks to help others

After graduating from Psalm 23 program, Marcus Reich plans to give back to others in distress

The Psalm 23 Transition Society has helped Marcus Reich kick his addiction and rebuild his self-esteem. Now, after graduating from the treatment program in July, the Lone Butte man hopes to give back to others by becoming a mentor and member of the 59 Mile-based society.

“I want to help the other men. I want to be there for them, support them, because I did it and I know they can do it,” Reich says. “It’s just being there and being supportive of them during their walk, their journey.”

Psalm 23 was started by Marvin Declare, the centre’s executive director, who had a vision about wanting to help individuals at a deeper level while working at the Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver. Although the 12-step program is faith-based, meaning they have Church and Bible studies, Declare says participants do not have to be believers to join. The aim is more focused on helping people find out what’s blocking them off from receiving help and finding their purpose in life.

READ MORE: Psalm 23 Society gives hope to people, gives back to community

Reich says he first found out about Psalm 23 through a family friend while he was going through some “pretty rough times in [his] life.” He had spent a lot of hours trying to kick his addiction on his own, and although he says he was in control of his life, he came to the realization he couldn’t do it alone.

“Deep down inside, I knew I needed to go. I didn’t want to go, but I knew I had to and I knew that I needed help,” Reich says. “It was the best thing I ever did. It was quite challenging, I had difficulties, but I was able to persevere and face my fears and my pain and work through them.”

Declare, who himself has been clean for 23 years, says Psalm 23 addresses the core reasons why people use and behave the way they do. It’s unfortunate, he adds, but many people with addictions are also often dealing with mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and abandonment issues.

“We have these voids in our life, losses, people that we’ve loved who have passed away,” he says.

When men arrive at the facility, they experience loneliness and sadness right away because they’re isolated from distractions, Declare adds. This allows his team to work more deeply with them in a structured process that is designed to help them struggle with the idea of “What do you do to promote the changing?”

“In the counselling format, it’s really about teaching these men that you can’t pray it or wish it away,” Declare says. “Whatever happens to you, positive or negative, is a part of you for the rest of your life. Our purpose is to try and teach you how to live with that in your life. It’s like a hula hoop. You’re only responsible for what’s in your hula hoop.”

There is a way out, Reich says, and people just have to work to reach it. Slowing down and not setting unreasonably high expectations for himself, and taking it day by day, made the program start to work for him.

“Like Marvin says, the program is really designed to make your struggle. It did for me because it made me face these things in my life that were holding me back.”

“We tell families that you’re going to get a new son,” Declare says. “It’s about them developing a new relationship with themselves so they can start to love and care for themselves, which allows for other relationships.” Watching people like Reich turn their lives around is the most rewarding part of his work.

The program encourages participants to give back to their community and help to lift other program members up, as Reich intends to do. He says stepping into a leadership role has been something he’s especially liked, and it’s giving him a reason to keep growing and learning.

“I’d like to get into the ministry and become a pastor one day. This is something I believe God has opened the door for me, to be able to help others and learn more. To be there to help and give back.”

To learn more about Psalm 23, call Declare at (604) 835-0855 or (250) 459-2220, or email

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser-Nicola BC Liberal Party candidate Jackie Tegart with supporters on the Ashcroft bridge, Oct. 21, 2020. Tegart is the frontrunner in the riding after the initial vote count, with mail-in ballots to be counted starting on Nov. 6. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Liberal incumbent Jackie Tegart holds narrow lead over Aaron Sumexheltza of NDP

Initial count is complete, and mail-in ballots will determine who wins in Fraser-Nicola

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

(from l) Fraser-Nicola candidates Jonah Timms (BC Green Party), Jackie Tegart (BC Liberal Party), and Aaron Sumexheltza (BC NDP). The polls have now closed and the counting has started. (Photo credit: Submitted)
Results awaited in Fraser-Nicola as polls have now closed

Counting of advance and election day votes has begun; mail-in votes to be counted starting Nov. 6

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Most Read