From the Outside

by British Columbia
Categories: Blog, Stories, Volunteer

“If you asked me two years ago if I thought I’d be alive now, I couldn’t imagine it,” says Phil, 45. “I had cocaine in my system and track marks from one end of my body to the other. I was so sick.”

For 30 years Phil, a banker by trade, maintained a veneer of normalcy while addicted to drugs.

“I come from a good family, have a university degree, a career, and a family,” says Phil. “But I was always using. I hid my addiction from everyone for a very long time.”

“Now I wake up with a lot of hope thanks to The Salvation Army”

There came a point in his life when Phil couldn’t maintain the facade. He degenerated into a criminal and lost everything―his job, his house, his wife and children. He was convicted of robbery and thrown into jail. The crown asked for 10 years, however after a five-day trial he was found not guilty on all counts.

“I walked out of the Supreme Court building with only 10 cents and the clothes on my back,” says Phil. “I’d heard about The Salvation Army’s drug treatment program from a social worker while in prison. I was now faced with a choice―stick a needle in my arm or get help. I ran to The Salvation Army, about six blocks away.”

There, Phil was accepted into the Personal Development Plan program, a three-month addictions recovery program at The Salvation Army Belkin House Vancouver. He was able to learn resources and strategies to support his sobriety, including identifying challenges to recovery, developing healthy and positive lifestyles and coping strategies.

“The program allowed me to address the wreckage of my past, looking at the root of my addiction and how I could continue to arrest the addiction, on a day-by-day basis.”

Phil graduated from the program and now participates in aftercare. He is no longer a harm to himself or others and contributes to society through volunteering at his local Salvation Army kitchen.

The day Phil made the choice to walk through the doors of The Salvation Army is the day he started the long journey to getting his life back.


With your ongoing support we are able to continue to help more people like Phil. Donate today online or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.