18 February 2014

Greg likes watching his son, a happy 4-year-old, enjoy the playground outside their apartment. After all, Greg was thinking of his little boy when he volunteered to build it!

His son’s happiness means a lot to him, though Greg admits that times were tough when his son was born. At that time, Greg and his girlfriend were heavily addicted to drugs. With no home of their own, they relied on friends to keep them off the streets. “Every day was a struggle for us,” he says.

As a veteran, Greg had access to supportive services, but nothing he tried helped him stay clean. And no one wanted to hire him because he had a felony on his record.

But then, The Salvation Army opened a new transitional housing facility for families with kids. Living there, he says, is what finally enabled Greg and his girlfriend to get clean.

“It allowed us to slowly transition back into life on life’s terms,” he says. “Any stress could have taken us right back out on the streets. Addiction was only one thought away. This gave us a chance to get back on our feet.”

Grateful for the second chance that saved him, Greg looked for ways to give back. He volunteered to help build a playground for the residents to enjoy. That led to something much bigger. 

“The Salvation Army saw my potential,” he says. Now, Greg works as the housing property manager. He’s responsible for the repairs, upkeep, and maintenance of the facility and its grounds. He loves his job.

Greg still looks for ways to help. At Christmastime, he and his girlfriend volunteered as bell ringers, raising funds for the very programs that changed their lives.

“I really, truly believe that if it weren’t for The Salvation Army, I’d be back on the streets, using,” Greg says. “I didn’t have anything else to fall back on. I am forever grateful to The Salvation Army.”