Salvation Army Helps Change the Outcome of Troubled Teen’s Life

Salvation Army Helps Change the Outcome of Troubled Teen’s Life
by Linda Leigh
Categories: Articles, Feature, Mobile, Newswire
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Tia, 19, was raised in a dysfunctional family that struggled with poverty. Father figures came and went. At age 14 she was kicked out of the house and quickly ran out of couches to crash on. With lack of stability she spiraled out of control. Today, she is grateful for The Salvation Army and that her worst days are behind her.

“When I got kicked out I hung out with the wrong crowd and became addicted to any kind of pill I could get my hands on,” says Tia. “Using drugs helped me forget about home―hunger, poverty, conflict, drama, chaos. But I always remembered The Salvation Army.”

At age nine, Tia attended The Salvation Army’s Scotian Glen camp, which had a deep and lasting impact on her. “There was always food at camp,” says Tia. “I went for five years until I was too old. Camp was about fun, family and friends. I could be a kid at camp and leave the worries of home behind. I was sad when I couldn’t go anymore.”

“The Salvation Army is my chosen family. They helped me when I needed it most, and still do.”

Meanwhile, Tia’s mom frequented The Salvation Army’s community and family services in St. John, N.B., for help with food and clothes. “I remember having worn-out clothes and no bread or milk in the house. It was bad,” says Tia. “But The Salvation Army helped to change that.”

When camp experiences came to an end, Shelly McCready, Community Ministries Coordinator for The Salvation Army, urged Tia to keep in touch.

“She desperately needed a mentor and positive influence in her life,” says Shelly. “But our communication ceased.”

Tia eventually got clean and reached out to Shelly and The Salvation for support. That assistance included transportation to medical appointments, help with filing income tax and encouragement to continue her education.

“I just graduated from high school,” says Tia. “My goal is to become a nurse. If The Salvation Army wasn’t here I would still be couch surfing, would not be independent or on a path to success.

“The Salvation Army is my chosen family. They helped me when I needed it most, and still do. I love them.”