A New Way of Life

Apr 24, 2018 | by The Salvation Army

Richard had been in and out of prison for 25 years because of drug and alcohol abuse and criminal behavior. He grew up with an alcoholic mother who spent most of her time at work, and his father passed away when Richard was only five years old. He was first exposed to drugs and alcohol when he was in third grade when his babysitter gave him a six-pack of beer and some joints. With no good influences in his life, he spiraled out of control.

When he was released from his eighth trip to prison, Richard knew something had to change. “I was tired, I was broken, and I was just spiritually sick,” says Richard. He knew he needed to turn his life around.

He needed a safe place to focus on bettering himself, away from his previous lifestyle. Desperate to find the right fit, Richard read the Bible consistently and prayed to God. He visited many rehab centers that wouldn’t let him in because he couldn’t pay for their high prices. Richard remembered working with graduates of The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) several years ago, so he decided to take a chance on himself and enroll in the free program

Once in the program, Richard dove in head first. “I loved the worship, and I loved the ministry,” says Richard. He became a member of The Salvation Army church as soon as he could.

Richard joined Alcoholics Anonymous, which he still attends today, and began healing emotionally. He worked diligently with counselors and attended all of the church services and Bible studies provided by the ARC. Richard worked in the Thrift Store warehouse, where he  learned the routine and stability of working a full-time job.

Richard completely turned his life around while he was in the program. After graduating from the ARC in 2016, he got a job serving others in the family services office for The Salvation Army. Now, he assists those in need with emergency food, rental assistance, the homeless, and more. Richard can relate to his clients on a personal level and show them that if he can break the cycle of self-destruction, so can they. He has even created a 12-step Christian-based recovery meeting with the help of his co-worker Holly Fruchey, called “Meeting 180, which he named because his life turned around in a complete 180, and he hopes every participant can do the same.

“The two driving forces in my life, recovery and my ministry, have really made me strong in who I am, and both have forced me to be the man I am,” Richard explains.

Richard is always looking forward for more opportunities to grow and learn new things. He still has a good relationship with his mother, and he teaches Sunday School to high school and grade school students. Richard says the best thing about his life now is his relationship with God and that he is useful to others.

“Lives are changed, and miracles happen right here every day,” he says. “I enjoy my life today. It’s a gift… I can’t do enough for The Salvation Army.”

If you or someone you love is ready to take the first step towards recovery, please contact you local Adult Rehabilitation Center today!

Albuquerque Adult Rehabilitation Program: 505.242.3112

Phoenix Metro Adult Rehabilitation Center: 602.256.4500

Southern Nevada Adult Rehabilitation Center: 702.399.2769

Tucson Adult Rehabilitation Center: 505.242.3112

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