Hope Marches On: Your gifts helped Bradley kick his addiction
Hope Marches On is a story series featuring real-life examples of how your donations to The Salvation Army help local people and families overcome food insecurity, eviction, inflation, and other hardships.
Your donations to The Salvation Army helped Bradley break free from addiction and live a happy, productive life.
Getting sober was not easy for Bradley. The 29-year-old had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana since age 12. He later got hooked on smoking methamphetamine, soon after he dropped out of high school during his senior year.
“(Meth) drew me in right away,” said Bradley, who grew up in the northern Twin Cities suburbs. “I’d finally found what I was looking for from drug use.”
The next four years of Bradley’s life were a downward spiral: He was fired from job after job for not showing up or being high. He started selling drugs and hanging out with career criminals. He was jailed twice, including five months for breaking probation after he was caught riding in a stolen car.
In 2017, Bradley stopped smoking meth and started shooting it. Within a month he was homeless and stealing for a living.
“I became evil,” Bradley said. “I would do anything to get more meth. I stole anything that wasn’t nailed down. I lied to people I claimed to care about. I could see that I was ruining my life, but I didn’t care.”
Fateful phone call
Bradley’s life took a dramatic turn in late 2019 when, for reasons he can’t explain, he contacted The Salvation Army late one night.
“I was blackout drunk,” Bradley recalled. “I sent The Salvation Army a message saying my life is out of control and I need help. I don’t even remember sending the message.”
The next day, he received a call from a Salvation Army staff member named Amy. She told Bradley about Jesus and invited him to enroll at The Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center in Minneapolis – a free or low-cost residential treatment program for men battling addiction.
Bradley enrolled in the program almost immediately. He would spend the next seven months at the rehabilitation center receiving food, shelter, counseling, and spiritual support.
“The next thing I knew, I was praying with people and doing outreach,” Bradley said. “I hadn’t felt that good about myself in a long time. I’d never had any self-worth before.”
Bradley graduated from the program in July 2020. Today, he leads Bible studies and sings on a worship team at the rehabilitation center. He also works there as a resident manager.
“I love this place so much,” Bradley said. “I see God’s grace and mercy here every single day.”
Bradley is thankful for The Salvation Army’s help and excited about his future.
“The Salvation Army stood by me,” he said. “I deserve to be in jail for all the things I’ve done. But God had other plans for me.”
You can do something good this holiday season by donating to The Salvation Army, volunteering, or ringing bells at a Red Kettle. Your help will provide food, shelter and care for local families in need. Because of you, Hope Marches On.