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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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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Salvation Army Staff Members Save Life of Homeless Woman

The Harsh Reality in the Triangle on Lower Wacker

The Triangle is a spot on Lower Wacker Drive where hundreds of people sleep every night on stacks of cardboard, torn-up mattresses, or piles of newspapers. Just yards away, drug dealers and prostitutes sell their wares – most of the time to the Triangle residents. The Salvation Army Mobile Feeding and Homeless Outreach Unit makes at least one stop a day at this location to hand out food, offer social services, and help individuals leave the street if they choose.

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Salvation Army Volunteer Makes a Difference in Chicago

This guest blog was provided by Respect 90, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s charity which provides children and families opportunities to develop championship attitudes through sports, academics and community involvement.

As a little girl in the seventies in Northwest Chicago, Carol Valentino-Barry used to love to look at things upside down.

“There are pictures of me as a little girl hanging upside down,” she laughs. “My father told me I always did that. He said it was my thing.”

That may help explain why today, she could be a copywriter for the messaging on Joe Maddon’s brilliantly inspiring T-shirts with a slightly different point of view.

Like the one that says it is OK to be uncomfortable.

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