Paying It Forward

Jul 31, 2020 | by Kelli Carver

“In the beginning, I felt very ashamed and guilty for relapsing after being in recovery for 5 years. I felt like I let myself down, that I let God down.” Steve remembers well his journey to The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center more than a decade ago. “I made the choice to come to Harbor Light because I knew people who completed treatment there,” Steve explained. “I wanted to succeed with my recovery program, too.”  When he arrived, he was greeted by staff with open arms and encouragement that he was doing the right thing, that he could overcome his addiction to alcohol, and strengthen his relationship with God. 

Steve experienced many obstacles while he was in treatment.  A Harbor Light employee and friend, Ricky, noticed that Steve seemed depressed a few days after starting inpatient treatment.  “Ricky encouraged me and told me I was doing the right things.  He told me that I should feel good about myself for making the choice to come to rehab for my alcohol addiction.”

At the Harbor Light Center, there are two sides to the recovery program.  The first is medical treatment and emotional support to learn to live a life without drugs or alcohol, and the second is spiritual healing.   “When you come into the treatment center, you walk in and go to the left side for medical treatment.  To the right, you’ll find the chapel,” Steve explained. “Harbor Light offers support from a medical standpoint, but if you’re looking for a relationship with God and to find happiness and peace within yourself, they can help you with that too.”  Once he completed his treatment program, Steve decided to become a member of the Harbor Light church family, as well.

Shortly after wrapping up treatment, Steve was offered a job working in the Harbor Light kitchen.  Since then, has held several positions at the Harbor Light Center and today works as a security guard for the facility. 

“Being part of The Salvation Army means a lot to me, because I can love others the same way I was loved.  We don’t judge here,” he shares. “Harbor Light is so much more than a recovery center for me. I don’t go to NA meetings anymore, I come here for spiritual food and my recovery continues because of my relationship with God, the church services, and support found here.” 

In addition to working at Harbor Light Center, Steve wanted to give back by showing others the same kindness and non-judgement that was given to him when he first arrived.  “I know what it is like to feel less than,” says Steve. “A lot of people are given up on after making mistakes related to their addiction.  I want people to know that they are welcome here and will have love and support while they are going through treatment.  I want them to know they are not alone.”


Click here to learn more about recovery services at the Indianapolis Harbor Light Center.

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