Two Lives Saved by The Salvation Army

Sep 22, 2020

We are moved by two recent success stories from The Salvation Army’s tireless efforts to help those struggling with substance use disorder. These stories remind us of how challenging that struggle can be, and how powerful a tool like Narcan is in the fight for survival. Several corps community centers around the Metropolitan Division distribute Narcan, a medication that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. If there was ever any question why our officers and staff distribute this medication, these stories provide a compelling answer.

Caring for Clients Beautifully

A life was literally saved today at Harbor Light. A man went out on a pass [to leave the building] and used and overdosed. He came back to our facility and collapsed with no heartbeat. Our staff put their training into practice, used Narcan, and brought the man back to life!

I could not be prouder of our team, who beautifully cared for the man and the other clients, got the ambulance, and kept everyone calm. The client who had no heartbeat earlier was able to walk to the ambulance with the help of the paramedics.

I met with the staff after the event and each person’s reaction was to compliment the work of the other team members. Clients told me they felt safe. Thank you, team! Thank you, God!

-Major Nancy Powers, Chicago Harbor Light


Meeting People Where They Are

Tonight, when we went out on our mobile feeding visits, we made our usual stop at a tent city where the community is primarily made up of IV drug users. While we were making our rounds, one of the women told us that this past weekend her boyfriend had overdosed on heroin. She said that his lips were turning blue and she couldn't see him breathing anymore.

She yelled out to everyone that she needed Narcan and people in that community came running with the bags of Narcan we had brought them the week before. She said it took six doses, but he came back.

She thanked us so much for being willing to come out without judgement, and just give them what they need to stay safe. She said, "Most people act like they don't even see us." We made sure everyone had more Narcan before we left, then went home feeling grateful for the work we do and the people we are able to help.

Sometimes you go along not knowing if you are making a difference, and sometimes you get a reminder of just how much of an impact you can make by showing up and meeting people where they are.

-Lieutenant Karen Felton, Chicago Midwest Corps Community Center


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