Todd Quick, Intake Coordinator at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC), is a hard working resident of the Tampa Bay area and currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida. Todd is the leader of the ARC band, and a member of The Salvation Army Florida Divisional Band. Fueled by the support of his wife, The Salvation Army, and the love of God, Todd is driven and excited about his future.
Six years ago, Todd was a completely different man.
Todd grew up in a small town in South Carolina and lived a fairly normal childhood. Around the age of 15, he began smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, as many teenagers do. At the time, Todd’s habits seemed normal and common amongst his peers; however, he took these habits to an extreme. Todd quit high school, and his interest in marijuana led to experimentation with other more expensive and dangerous drugs. At 20 years old, Todd was arrested on multiple charges of possession. His parents bailed him out, but he violated his probation and was sentenced to three months in prison and a 30-day drug rehabilitation program. After his first rehab experience, Todd began a vicious cycle of recovery and relapse that lasted roughly five years.
Todd knew how to recover, but had trouble following through with his actions. Eventually his family stopped speaking to him and he had no support system or place to call home. He relocated multiple times as he moved in and out of rehab centers and halfway houses until he hit rock bottom standing outside The Salvation Army Red Shield Lodge in Tampa, Florida.
With only a khaki jacket on his back and all of his belongings in a Publix bag, Todd had nothing to do but lie down and wait to check in to the Red Shield Lodge. Todd vividly remembers lying on the sidewalk with his head on his bag thinking to himself, “This is not me.” There had been many moments prior when Todd realized he needed to turn his life around, but this one hit him hardest. He knew there was more to him than his addiction, and he was finally ready to take the necessary steps. The Red Shield Lodge gave Todd a bed for 18 days while he moved up the wait list for the Adult Rehabilitation Center. Having a safe place to stay was the first step of many in Todd’s recovery process, but it gave him a sense of hope and motivation he had been missing for years.
Todd was admitted into The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center on February 28, 2012 and has been completely sober ever since. He even stopped smoking cigarettes. After about eight months Todd graduated from the program and was given a job driving a truck for the ARC. He drove for two years before moving into the office where he worked helping people in the program get social security cards, valid identification, prescriptions, and anything else they might need to get back on their feet. After about a year Todd became the Intake Coordinator, and has held the position since. This October, Todd will celebrate his fifth anniversary of being employed by The Salvation Army. Because Todd’s addiction always prevented him from keeping jobs, this anniversary feels monumental.
The Salvation Army gave Todd a jump-start to a new life. He is now a happily married homeowner with a strong group of friends and a bright future ahead of him. A recent graduate of Hillsborough Community College, Todd is poised to enter the University of South Florida to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He has reconnected with his family, who came back to him very quickly when his addiction improved. Now that Todd has built a life for himself, he is able to look back on his experience with a sense of gratitude and humility.
Today, Todd gives back to the ARC through more than just employment. As the leader of the band at the ARC, he gives others a chance to use contemporary praise and worship music as a form of therapy. Todd claims playing in the band gives others a boost of confidence that can be crucial to their healing experience, while also bringing them closer to God. The Salvation Army allowed Todd to find Christ, which is an aspect he felt he had been missing for so long. “You have to put in a lot of work and trust in God to stay sober,” said Todd. “It’s amazing when you let God start working in your life.”
When he thinks back to where he was six years ago, he can barely believe how far he has come in such a short amount of time. Todd is a firm believer that nobody can understand an addict better than another addict, which is why he feels the ARC is so successful. The ARC is very community driven and focuses on creating an environment of encouragement and inspiration. Todd looks to his supervisors, who have been sober longer than he has, and knows he can follow in their footsteps. At the same time, Todd looks forward to lending a helping hand to those coming into the ARC who may be following in his footsteps.
The Salvation Army opens its arms to people of all backgrounds, in all stages of addiction. Doctors, lawyers, and people from all walks of life have come through the ARC. “Addiction has no boundaries,” said Todd, explaining how even the most successful people can struggle with addiction. “It’s never too early and never too late to get better.”
In six short years, Todd’s life was turned completely around with the guidance of The Salvation Army. Now, the ARC is very lucky to have Todd as such an honest advocate for those struggling with addiction. Each day, Todd continues to positively impact the lives of others and give them a chance to succeed, just like the chance he was given by The Salvation Army. With the armory of love and support Todd has now, there is no telling how much he’ll accomplish in the next six years.