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    James Lee, Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center's Resident Manager, oversees the 125-bed residence and non-working hour activities of the men enrolled in the program's drug and alcohol treatment program. Photo by Chris Sloan

    Priscilla Luna is a Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center of San Bernardino warehouse employee working in the laundry area. While Priscilla is one of the paid employees, who are male and female, most of the workers in this warehouse are men enrolled in the Adult Rehabilitation Center drug and alcohol treatment program. The warehouse is a central processing and distribution center for seven thrift stores in San Bernardino County, plus  one in Pomona, all of which support the Center’s program. Photo By Chris Sloan
    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) In San Bernardino, The Salvation Army is known for helping people to have better lives. Many of these are men overcoming drug and alcohol addiction who benefit from the services of The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center.
    The San Bernardino Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center is a 120-bed treatment center operating at 363 S. Doolittle Road, serving men from throughout San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County’s Pomona Valley.
    The six-month program is for men, known as beneficiaries, who have completed the detoxification process and are ready to leave their drug or alcohol addiction behind. The program helps them to begin a new and better life.
    “We teach them to feel good and confident about their lives,” said Jack Katzman, president of the Adult Rehabilitation Center advisory board. “They learn work ethics, how to dress properly, and how to make eye contact when speaking to others. We teach them to look beyond their past, and to look forward to a future with a renewed life. We teach them these values because the Salvation Army’s mission is changing people’s lives for the better.”
    The Adult Rehabilitation Center provides one-on-one and group counseling, meetings for Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous and recreational activities for the beneficiaries to enjoy as part of their new sober lifestyle.
    “We have a basketball court, a batting cage, a pool table, air hockey and an outdoor weight room,” said Residence Director James Lee. “There’s also a dining room with a restaurant-style kitchen where they eat like kings and a canteen where they can snack between meals.”
    They enjoy all of these things when they’re not at work. With very few exceptions, residents of the Adult Rehabilitation Center put in a full day helping with their residences’ primary means of raising money.
    The Adult Rehabilitation Center operates seven used goods stores, known as Salvation Army Family Stores. These stores are located in San Bernardino (one on E Street, another on Highland Avenue,) Pomona, Fontana, Redlands, Hesperia and Victorville.
    The Family Stores raise almost all of the program’s revenue and teach the treatment center’s residents new job skills, thus helping them become more productive members of society after they complete the program. The beneficiaries learn the value of working hard, cooperating with others and having goals.
    The treatment center is next to a warehouse and the offices of the Adult Rehabilitation Center. The center has operated the warehouse there since the 1980s, in a building that previously served as a distribution center for PepsiCo.
    The Salvation Army accepts donations of any household items at its warehouse, including vehicles and furniture. Most items can also be donated at its stores, except for vehicles, furniture and large appliances. Donors also can arrange for The Salvation Army to pick up items by calling 1-800-SATRUCK, which is 1-800-728-7825.
    Most of the men at the Adult Rehabilitation Center have the job of receiving and refurbishing Salvation Army donations before shipping them to the stores. This involves cleaning items, determining clothing sizes, and making minor repairs.
    “When something comes into our warehouse, we refurbish the product, we repair the product, we make it look good,” said Victoria Bennett, administrative secretary for the Adult Rehabilitation Center. “Some of the men are very skilled. So of course we will put those skills to work.”
    For instance, some men come with the carpentry skills necessary to repair broken furniture. Others can fix torn upholstery, or troubleshoot a malfunctioning piece of electronics equipment. As a result, most of The Salvation Army’s donations, even if they weren’t top quality when they arrived, can be sent to the used goods stores in an almost-new condition.
    “Most of the donations we receive are really nice,” Bennett said. “Some of them are junk.”
    Many items damaged beyond repair can still be salvaged in a different way. The Adult Rehabilitation Center sells tattered clothing donations as rags and puts irreparable appliances and electronics in its “as-is” bin. The public may come to the warehouse any non-holiday weekday before 9 a.m. to bid on the defective items in the as-is bin.
    “Most people buy these items just for the parts,” Bennett said.
    The warehouse is also a place to buy used cars, trucks and other vehicles. The Adult Rehabilitation Center accepts donations of these vehicles, then fixes them so they are safe to operate and are smog-certified.
    It sells them to anyone who is in need of quality used transportation, often at prices lower than a similar vehicle would cost on a commercial used car lot. These vehicles can be purchased 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
    “All of the Family Store proceeds and the warehouse sales support the rehabilitation program,” said Katzman. “We receive no government funding.”
    About 70 of the 120 men living at the Adult Rehabilitation Center work in the warehouse, along with 16 paid employees. Additional residents work as assistants to one of the 12 paid Salvation Army truck drivers, and one to two residents work in each store along with a much larger paid staff.
    The remainder of the residents either have “jobs” in the treatment center itself, or because of illness (not related to their addictions) or injury, are medically excused from work.
    “They work at the front desk, in the kitchen, in the laundry or in the canteen,” Lee said. “Everyone who can work has a job.”
    Adult Rehabilitation Center has operated the warehouse and distribution center on Doolittle Road for about 25 years. In March 2009, it realized a long-time goal of having both parts of its ministry in one place, when it moved its treatment center to a newly constructed adjacent building.
    “It had been the goal of our former advisory board president, John Tillman, to have both of these programs together,” said Katzman, who has served as advisory board president since Tillman’s death in 2001. “We had purchased the land just before he died, so I took over that project. After several years of groundwork, we were able to build the new treatment center John Tillman envisioned.”
    “Having the residence and the warehouse in one central location allows us the opportunity to greatly increase our service to the community. We can serve more men, and we don’t have to spend time and money transporting beneficiaries from their residence to the warehouse,” Katzman said. “Also, The Salvation Army is now using our old building to feed and shelter homeless people.”
    Prior to 2009, the Adult Rehabilitation Center had a 77-bed treatment center on Tenth Street.
    The old treatment center is now home to The Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps emergency family shelter, known as Hospitality House.
    While the building at 925 W. Tenth St. has belonged to The Salvation Army for about 35 years, its current owners are a separate division of the organization from the Adult Rehabilitation Center.
    The Hospitality House is a service of the San Bernardino Corps, which also offers a variety of other programs. These include serving up to 300 meals six days a week to the needy, a weekly church service, and youth programs offering both recreation and spiritual development for boys, girls and teens.
    The Adult Rehabilitation Center encourages donations of any size, from clothes and small household items to appliances and cars. Donors can drop off items at the 363 E. Doolittle St. warehouse, any of the Salvation Army Family Stores (except vehicles) or can call 1-800 SATRUCK (1-800-728-7825) to arrange a pick-up.
    About the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center
    The Adult Rehabilitation Center is a six-month program, combining treatment and work therapy for men who wish to overcome drug or alcohol addiction. These men attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, receive one-on-one and group counseling, and learn about stress management, anger management, parenting and overcoming addiction. They also participate in recreational activities they can continue after their treatment as part of a sober lifestyle.
    Men in San Bernardino County or Pomona Valley who are seeking help to overcome drug or alcohol addiction should call the Adult Rehabilitation Center in San Bernardino at (909) 889-9605.  The Salvation Army offers a similar program for men in Riverside County; for more information about that program, call (951) 940-5790.
    Women can learn about Adult Rehabilitation Centers for them by calling the center in Anaheim at (714) 758-0414, or the center in San Diego at (619) 239-4037.
    The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church. 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. To donate, call 1-800 SATRUCK.


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