CHARLES | “I’d be in jail, an institution, or dead”

Charles (left) is the house manager at The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center. Photos by John Docter.

“I graduated from The Salvation Army’s drug and alcohol program 5 years ago, in April 2011.

I was using for a long time. My life spiraled down and I ended up in jail so they sent me here to go through the Army’s program. I truly believe the Army saved my life.

They allowed me to work here [at The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Cener] and help others. It’s a blessing.

It makes me cry every time I see one of the guys graduate. I cry all the time. I love the men and women here who are trying to change their lives like I was 5 years ago.
Photo by John Docter.

Addiction is hard. There were when times I could quit. But staying ‘quit’ was hard. This program showed me how and gave me the tools, along with Narcotics Anonymous.

In September 2012 I was hired as the assistant resident manager at the Army. Two years ago, I got promoted to resident manager.

My job is to manage the house, hold the residents accountable, be a good example as a man in recovery by showing them what change looks like.

I also make sure their stay is comfortable and safe, and make sure their needs are met.

The most rewarding part is watching people graduate and when they come back reconciled with their families, with jobs and a car and living life. Being part of that is just amazing.

Dealing with 80 different personalities is a challenge. Holding them accountable is difficult. I believe everyone deserves a second chance but a lot of times we have to discharge men in the program. That’s definitely the hardest part.

Charles helps the men in the program keep their rooms neat and tidy. Photo by John Docter.

I try to be consistent with everybody and treat them the same. When I’m inconsistent, they know and will take advantage of it. Just because they’re alcoholics and addicts doesn’t mean they’re not smart!

There are people from all walks of life here but caring for them is part of giving back. I wouldn’t change a thing.

I came to the program through the courts when I was heading for prison. I got up and told the judge I needed help so he looked at my past and said he could send me to The Salvation Army.

I was honorably discharged from probation after 18 months; I’d was supposed to be on probation for 5 years.

If not for The Salvation Army I’d be in jail, an institution or dead. No doubt about it.”

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Everything you donate to or buy from a Salvation Army Family store helps men and women just like Charles get no-fee drug and alcohol rehabilitaiton in a structured group setting that focuses on helping them become the indivudual God created them to be.

If you’d like to find one of our Adult Rehabilitation Centers near you, visit our website and plug in your zip code — http://salar.my/FindACenter

Or, if you’d like to make a life-changing gift of gently-used clothing, household applicances and furniture, find a drop off site or schedule a pick up here: www.satruck.com

Thank you and God bless you.