The lives of five men who once called The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama home are now at their permanent homes surrounded by loved ones.
On June 11th, The Salvation Army hosted a Reflection Celebration Anticipation ceremony (RCA) to recognize the hard work of these men for completing their treatment and recovery programs. Throughout their treatment, they weaned off their addictions, developed life and work skills to become productive citizens.
Christopher Adams, Derrick Chambers, Jessie Chaney, Rickey Dixon, and Roderick Henderson all received certificates and were praised by Area Commander, Major Mark Brown, and Clinical Director, Cherish Brannon, counselors, friends and family for their hard work and dedication over the course of six months.
“learn to listen, and listen to learn”
Each of these men traveled unique roads that all led to The Salvation Army for help. During Rickey Dixon’s remarks, he said when his sister passed away he didn’t know what to do. While trying to cope with the loss, he became an addict. Despite his problems, he sought help to change his life. Dixon says while going through treatment at The Salvation Army, support from other men in the program encouraged him to continue pushing forward. Dixon even credits kicking his smoking habit to supporters in the program. Most of all, Dixon says his recovery taught him to “learn to listen, and listen to learn.” Dixon explained it’s easy to hear people speaking and not fully absorb what they are saying. But once Dixon started listening to what counselors and supporters were telling him, he started noticing positive change in his life.
The other four men echoed Dixon’s story to varying degrees. They fell on hard times, some developed addictions and made bad choices, but eventually they turned their lives around. Many of these men are now reconnecting with their families after years of minimal contact.
“I’ve been clean for 16 months and it feels good not to wake up high”
Jessie Chaney said “I’m on a different path now, a better path. I’ve been clean for 16 months and it feels good not to wake up high.” Derrick Chambers offered advice to younger guys facing the same challenges he dealt with. “The street isn’t hitting on anything, it’s not worth it” said Chambers who also shared he’d been shot and stabbed before his life changed for the better.
All of the men thanked The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama for the help they received, and most of all they thanked God for turning their lives around.