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    Salvation Army Brings Future Into Focus With Path to Prosperity

    San Bernardino Salvation Army Corps’ Sam Valdez, Director of Path to Prosperity. Photo by Michael Downer

    Path to Prosperity Client Louie Martinez showing off his new eyeglasses, courtesy of St. Bernadine’s Medical Center Foundation. Photo by Michael Downer

    (San Bernardino, Calif.) Clients of the Path to Prosperity, a program offered by the San Bernardino Salvation Army Corps, are bringing their future into focus with new eyeglasses and dental work, thanks to a $13,000 grant from St. Bernadine’s Medical Center Foundation.
    “If you can’t see you can’t do well in school,” said Samuel Valdez, director of the Salvation Army Path to Prosperity program. “Thanks to this grant, our clients are given the opportunity to continue their progress in getting their lives back on track.”

    A one of a kind 18 month program limited to 27 men at a time, the Path to Prosperity program assists its participants in obtaining the skills they need to become self-supporting and financially independent after battling substance abuse.
    “While many of our participants are graduates of our Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC), this program is open to any man who has successfully completed a six month sobriety program, is now living clean and sober and has the desire to make a positive change in their life,” Said Valdez.
    A recovering alcoholic and drug addict himself, Valdez points out that Path to Prosperity is not for everyone. However, he stresses the benefits received by those who are focused on beating their addiction are many, laying a foundation to living a productive lifestyle.
    “When you are battling drug addiction, you sometimes make choices that are not the best, falling back on what you know from the past and are comfortable with doing.  Here at Path to Prosperity, we provide clients with the tools to make good choices, relying on what they need to succeed,” said Valdez.
    Providing them with what they need to succeed includes onsite programs that focus on: anger management, life skills, goals setting, attitudes, relapse prevention, job readiness as well as life and recovery.

    The job readiness class prepares clients by assisting with resumes and mock interviews. Even though in this digital age, much of the application process is done online, the understanding is that at some point clients will need to be in front of an interviewer and this class gets them ready for just that.
    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. The goal is to complete an associate degree or certification for a vocational trade.
    Some men go even further and enroll in California State University, San Bernardino, while others have the experience to become job ready very quickly and choose to seek employment rather than go to school.
    “We find that those clients who have the potential to truly excel do a combination of going to school along with working,” said Major Stephen Ball, commander of The Salvation Army of San Bernardino Corps.  “Clients have 18 months to focus on getting their lives back together, while they’re obtaining their college degree or certificate.”
    Major Ball also notes that those clients who have eligible income are required to pay one-third of their income, up to $430 per month as rent. This helps to provide structure and reintroduces them to following rules and being accountable.
    For more information or to make a donation, call the San Bernardino Corps headquarters at (909) 888-1336. You may drop off your donations at the headquarters building, located at 746 W. Fifth Street, San Bernardino.

    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 Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) 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 <http://www.salvationarmyusa.org> or by calling 1-(800)-SAL-ARMY or (909) 888-1336.


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