It was the familiar red shield, but for Andre, it was a beacon. He couldn’t explain it, but he was drawn in.
“I was walking past the building,” he said. “And, God turned me around when I was 10 steps past it.”
This Salvation Army sign wasn’t on one of The Salvation Army’s service centers, or even one of its local Family Stores. This was an administrative building in an area not prone to a lot of foot traffic.
Andre wasn’t even sure why he was there. At the time, he was struggling with alcohol.
“I was out on the streets. No place to go. No one to help me,” he recalls. “I just put my pride aside and asked for help. I walked in and said ‘I need help!’”
What happened next was a critical moment in Andre’s story. The administrative staff called the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center’s program manager, Darrell Graham, and he dropped everything and drove over to personally pick Andre up.
Andre credits The Salvation Army’s swift response to saving his life. “If it wasn’t for God and The Salvation Army, I wouldn’t be here today. I would either be in jail or dead.”
The day Andre checked in, he was 120 pounds, and he was heading down a dangerous road. Today, he’s been renewed physically and spiritually. “God speaks to me through Darrell, the Captains, the staff. They remind me that it’s one day at a time, one minute at a time, one second at a time.”
For Darrell Graham, Andre and other men facing the same battles, are why he does what he does.
“Someone stood in the gap for me, so I’m definitely going to do it for other men,” he said. “That’s what we are doing here: we are changing lives.”
Andre agrees. “I was out there struggling with alcohol; it was hard. I’m here now. They have changed my life.”