A New Purpose

Mar 28, 2018 | by The Salvation Army

Life wasn't easy growing up with a mother who was a drug addict and an absent father. Michael chose the streets to call his home. It's what he knew. After two prison terms, a lifetime of violence, alcohol abuse, and selling drugs, he knew it was time to change. After a drunk driving accident in Northern California, one of his friends suggested he try and get help at The Salvation Army STEPS program in San Diego. Michael needed a change and the program was appealing to him.

STEPS stands for Shelter and Transitional Employment Program Services. It provides a comprehensive employment and transitional sober living program for homeless men in San Diego. Residents must be alcohol and drug-free and willing to work or go to school full time.

Michael knew that if he really wanted to change and make his life better he had to do it. He wanted to show his children that people can improve their lives if they try.

"When I had the orientation, everything kind of fell into place," says Michael. "God blessed me with that chance, the opportunity that they let me into the program.”

The Salvation Army gave Michael a chance to get back on his feet, save money, and a place to rest and focus on getting better. Now, Michael is ten months sober and working two jobs. Although Michael admits that it hasn’t been easy, the program has changed his life.

“Salvation Army is a good place for people that want it, that want help," he says. "You have to want it. The way that the program is structured to get you the stability, to give you the tools that you need to get back on your feet is amazing. You have people that genuinely care about the next person. We need programs like this.”

With the structure and case management, he has been able to get his life together and gain the tools he needs to create a healthy life on his own.

Michael is grateful for The Salvation Army STEPS program and hopes to graduate soon.

“Obviously, God has a purpose for me. Even the road that I took and the road that I’ve been down, He has a purpose for me. …If I could reach just one person, to show them that they can change too, then I’ve served my purpose.”

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