Structure and Hard Work Saved Client’s Life

Roy Ballesteros has lived more years than his age would suggest. After nearly 15 years of heavy drug use and criminal activity, proudly announces he has almost four years of sobriety. “This is who I am now. I can’t imagine not being sober,” he said.

But it wasn’t always that way. At 14 years old, Ballesteros started experimenting with marijuana and alcohol. At 16, while still abusing drugs, he was arrested for forgery and sentenced as a juvenile. But while serving probation for that charge, he was arrested for forgery and burglary – crimes he committed to support his growing addiction to methamphetamines and Adderall.

He was first introduced to this drug cocktail while living and partying in Boys Town, Chicago’s neighborhood that draws many members of the LGBTQ community. “The high from those two drugs is unlike anything other – its stays in the system and keeps you higher, longer,” Ballesteros said. “It helped me deal – or not deal – with issues I had growing up.”
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A Traffic Stop and a Second Chance

During the holidays, Steven Martinez worked diligently at The Salvation Army’s Joliet Corps Community Center. He did janitorial duties, worked in the food pantry, and helped with the Angel Tree program. He spent at least 20 hours each week working with Captains Dan and Wendy Faundez, the corps officers. But he didn’t get paid. Not a single cent. Martinez was working off 150 hours of court-mandated community service for a recent conviction of driving without a license.

“He’s a very conscientious worker,” said Capt. Wendy. “He always shows up on time, works really hard and is dedicated to the people we serve. It’s a pleasure spending time with him.”

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With Fatherhood in Action, Inmate Reconnects with His Family

The Salvation Army’s Fatherhood in Action program is helping fathers in Cook County Jail build better relationships with their children and the children’s mothers. The program, which is voluntary, works with fathers to develop skills for responsible parenting and healthy relationships. They also focus on financial education and wellness. The group also deals with issues specifically related to building family relationships while in jail and after their release.

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How West Monroe Partners Gets More by Giving More During National Day of Change

West Monroe Partners is a valued volunteer partner, donating time and talents to Salvation Army’s programs. Recently they spent a day at several Army sites. This is their blog about their experience. You can learn more about West Monroe Partners here. This post was written by Megan McKitterick.

This year, for West Monroe’s National Day of Change (NDOC), I had the opportunity to volunteer with The Salvation Army on a beautification project at the Chicago Temple Corps Community Center and Booth Manor Senior Residences. The Salvation Army was a perfect partner for NDOC because of its significant local impact through the Chicagoland area and our long-standing partnership with them.

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