Path to Prosperity Helps Men Get Back on Right Track
Sal Reyes and Daryl Raymond, front left to right, at their San Bernardino Valley College graduation. The two men obtained help getting their lives back on track from Path to Prosperity, a program of The Salvation Army, after overcoming methamphetamine addiction. They are now beginning work on bachelor’s degrees at California State University, San Bernardino.
(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) More than 200 men, all former drug and alcohol addicts, have found their way to a better future through Path to Prosperity, a program of The Salvation Army.
Two of the most recent are Daryl Raymond, 34 and Sal Reyes, 38. With the help of Path to Prosperity, both of them recently graduated from San Bernardino Valley College, and are now enrolled at California State University, San Bernardino to begin working on bachelor’s degrees this fall.
After becoming addicted to methamphetamine, both Raymond and Reyes ended up a few years ago at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, which are residential treatment programs run by The Salvation Army to help men recover from their addictions. In the in the Inland Empire these programs operate in San Bernardino and Perris.
After completing the programs offered by the local Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers, both men enrolled in Path to Prosperity, a program offered by the San Bernardino Corps of the Salvation Army. The Path to Prosperity program, which for most men lasts 18 to 24 months, focuses on helping men obtain the skills they need to become self-supporting and financially independent.
Now that they’ve completed the Path to Prosperity program, Reyes has already embarked on his new chosen career, counseling. Prior to obtaining his associate degree with honors in Human Services, he found part-time employment with MFI Recovery in Riverside as a drug and alcohol counselor. After he obtains a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and perhaps a Master’s degree in a related field, he hopes to open his own practice as a marriage and family therapist.
After Raymond completes a double major at Cal State San Bernardino in Transportation & Logistics, and Business Entrepreneurship, he plans to get back into the transportation industry in some capacity. He is also considering a Master’s degree in Business Administration to enhance his future career earning potential.
“I was an operations manager for a local trucking company for eight years,” Raymond said. “Then, I kind of drifted. I was what is known as a functional addict, which meant I went to work and lived a normal life. Eventually, a functional addiction collapses and becomes a full-blown addiction. You lose your job. You lose your car. You lose your family – all within a matter of months.”
Path to Prosperity is open to any man who has successfully completed a substance abuse treatment program and can prove he has lived clean and sober for the last six months. Although open to men who have completed other programs, Adult Rehabilitation Center graduates from San Bernardino and Perris make up the vast majority of enrollment in the Path to Prosperity program.
Since Path to Prosperity is limited to 27 men at one time, and both Adult Rehabilitation Centers have more than 100 men each enrolled, the ARC graduates also form a waiting list of those hoping to join when space is available. Not all ARC graduates enroll in Path to Prosperity, but Reyes and Raymond say as many who can, should.
“Path to Prosperity allows you to transition back into normal life after you have completed a substance abuse program,” Raymond said. “It is the best decision, even if you have a home to go to before then.”
“Spending more time in Path to Prosperity after time in recovery outweighs the six years, 10 years or however long they have spent in a drug environment,” Reyes said. “It will give them the tools they need to stabilize their life, and to live out their recovery in an every day life, away from the highly regulated environment of the Adult Rehabilitation Centers.”
Men who are battling drug addiction usually need a highly regulated environment to get away from drug addiction, because they are used to making bad choices, Reyes explained. When they get to Path to Prosperity, they’re able to make better choices, so this program, while providing some structure, gives far more freedom to the men enrolled.
“It’s like being 18 years old, living at home, and still having to obey your parents’ rules,” Raymond said of Path to Prosperity.
“Our program is structured and disciplined,” said John Fletcher, program director. “But those men who are committed and strive to change the direction of their lives understand and learn to fully embrace the recovery process”.
Since the main purpose of Path to Prosperity is to help the men obtain the skills they need to live independently, most Path to Prosperity members immediately enroll in San Bernardino Valley College. There, they will complete an associate degree, as Reyes and Raymond have done, or certification for a vocational trade.
“The majority of the clients in the program attend San Bernardino Valley College or work full time,”. Fletcher said. “Those who attend college have a proven track record of maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or better.”
Some of the men must first obtain a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) before enrolling at San Bernardino Valley College. A few are able to enroll directly into California State University, San Bernardino.
While they’re obtaining their college degree or certificate, the men live at Path to Prosperity. If they have a job, for instance, working part-time at Starbucks as Raymond and Reyes did, they pay one-third of their income as rent.
Both of these men believe Path to Prosperity has helped them get their lives back. They highly recommend it to those coming through the Adult Rehabilitation Centers’ programs behind them.
“Motivation to change and establish healthy priorities is crucial to recovery and long tern abstinence,” Fletcher said. “The men who join us understand and soon realize continued sobriety and success are not only possible, but highly probable as they learn how to embrace the recovery principles we teach here. I teach that the sky is not the limit for anyone in our program – it is only the beginning.”
About the Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps
The Salvation Army may be able to provide emergency services including food; lodging for homeless or displaced families; clothing and furniture; assistance with rent or mortgage and transportation when funds are available. The Salvation Army Team Radio Network assists rescue workers and evacuees in such disasters as fires.
The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church, and also offers evangelical programs for boys, girls and adults. One of the largest charitable and international service organizations in the world, The Salvation Army has been in existence since 1865 and in San Bernardino since 1887, supporting those in need without discrimination. Donations may always be made online at www.salvationarmyusa.org or by calling 1-(800)-SAL-ARMY.
For local help, call the San Bernardino Corps headquarters at (909) 888-1337.
Men seeking help to overcome drug or alcohol addiction should call their local Adult Rehabilitation Centers at (909) 889-9605 in San Bernardino County or (951) 940-5790 in Riverside County.
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