Walking the hallways of The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, signs of hope and new beginnings are everywhere. From the chapel to the classrooms, men and women are rediscovering the joy of a life free from the bondage of addiction.
Educational Coordinator Bill Chaulk walks these hallways every day in a quest to help his clients restore their faith in God and themselves. He leads classes on financial restoration, budgeting, parenting, and returning to the workforce. In the end, it’s all about hope. “If you lose hope, then what’s the reason for all the other programming that’s available?” Bill poses. “All the counseling would be null and void if we didn’t say, ‘Ok, you have hope. You have abilities. You are going to get a job.’”
Education is the key to not just overcoming addiction, but flourishing in its wake. The toll that addiction takes on a person’s body is echoed in their lives, with broken families, ruined careers, and faded dreams. Clients often believe that a better life is no longer possible or that they are unworthy of a happier fate.
One of Bill’s greatest tasks is teaching his clients their personal value and lifting their self-confidence back to a level that gets them excited about the possibilities lying before them. “I think a resume is the greatest self-esteem builder you could ever have,” he explains, “because you specifically look and say this is what you’re able to do. It allows us to tell them they truly are valuable, that they do have skills.”
Bill has helped thousands of clients write resumes, apply for jobs, rehearse for interviews, practice patience and perseverance, and learn how to dress and behave in a work environment. Every week he posts 800-1,000 jobs in the hallway outside his office, and his job placement rate over the last six years has been one hundred percent. “We’ve had an awesome response from our community with our people going and looking for work,” Bill proudly states, “because they’ve expressed themselves well and they are revealing their skills, their value for a company.”
For clients looking to gain new skills, earn a GED, or pursue a college degree, help is also available. From filling out FAFSA forms to the application process, they can find help every step of the way. By the time these men and women have completed the Harbor Light program, they have the skills and confidence they need to put their lives back together.