Our Stories of Recovery series features testimonials from men and women who have benefitted from The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center programs.
When you donate goods (clothing, accessories, appliances, furniture, etc.) to The Salvation Army’s Family Stores, you are funding programs that help people struggling with addiction to find the road to recovery.
This is John’s Story:
My name is John D. Epps and I was born in Zion, IL. Due to my drug addiction, most of my family didn’t think I would reach my current age of 55.
At the age of 20, I had a son on the way and was smoking crack cocaine. For the next three decades, my life was up and down. I routinely found myself in jail and jumping from job to job. I would sleep all day and run the streets all night. On one occasion my mother called me a “crackhead”; something that was certainly true; but hurt to hear my mother say it. Several years later, my mother apologized for calling me a “crackhead”. During this conversation I asked her to pray for me. She replied that she has never stopped praying for me. This was the start of a new beginning for me.
I found the Waukegan ARC and completed the program six months later. While at the Waukegan ARC, I received my GED. I learned a lot in the program, including the importance of getting up, suiting up, and showing up. I graduated from the program and stayed clean for two and a half years. I went to work for a temp service with the philosophy of getting up, suiting up, and showing up. I was directly hired by the company I was working for; however, this was the beginning of the end for me, again. After having a significant amount of cash in my pocket again, I felt like I no longer needed meetings, God, or Church. I began to lean on my understanding and the day quickly came when I was back on the streets. I was back in the same misery, drinking alcohol and smoking crack cocaine.
After having a taste of sober living, I wanted it back. This time I went to the Milwaukee ARC. Since then, God has restored relationships with my family and friends. 4 years and 23 days ago today, I graduated from the Milwaukee ARC and became the Resident Manager. I thank God for The Salvation Army and the countless people who have assisted me along the way.