A Changed Life

Jun 20, 2018 | by The Salvation Army

In 2012 Rebecca, her boyfriend Clarence, and their two sons lost their house and were living in a hotel when Rebecca was arrested for the selling and using of narcotics. Her family was torn apart as she was sent to jail and her sons were put into foster care. That devastating moment changed her life, and a broken Rebecca knew there had to be something different.

When Rebecca was given the opportunity to go through a rehab program instead of prison, she gladly accepted. “I just want to be happy one day,” Rebecca remembers thinking to herself. “I just want to have my own home again one day. I just want to have my kids. I just want to live life.”

In order to get her kids back, Rebecca wanted and needed to change her life completely. So determined to see her boys again, she told Clarence that if he didn’t get help with his alcoholism through The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC), he couldn’t be in her or her children’s lives anymore. For one year, Rebecca and Clarence went through their separate programs, and once completed, Rebecca regained custody of her children, and Clarence graduated from the San Bernardino ARC.

It’s been a tough journey, but now, Rebecca and Clarence own a home together, and are living happily with their children. “Here we are six years later, and I thank God every day,” says Rebecca. “I thank God every day I have my boys and we both are able to be in society.”

Not only did The Salvation Army save Clarence from addiction, but it opened up a community at The San Bernardino Corps Community Center for him and his family. They attend church at the Corps regularly and are heavily involved with the weekly ministry programs, including their kids attending afterschool programs.

Rebecca is so thankful for The Salvation Army that she volunteers on an almost daily basis. “Now we give back whatever we can,” she says. “I give back my time. If, for any reason, they need something that I can help with, we do it.” Rebecca helps with food distribution, kids’ programs, cleaning and church ministries.

Changed in so many ways and dedicated to a bright future, Rebecca and Clarence recently married at the San Bernardino Corps, surrounded by proud friends and family.

“I encourage people to give donations to the Salvation Army,” Rebecca says. “When you put money in the kettle it goes to somebody’s bed. The way I look at it, if there wasn’t a bed for my husband, we wouldn’t be where we are today. “

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