Client Spotlight: Peter’s Story

Jun 6, 2023

“Coming here I didn’t think I could have the future that I have now.” Peter, a Red Shield Services Harbor Light program participant, has a much different relationship with his family than when he drank and abused drugs, and he credits The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta’s Harbor Light program for that change.

“I came with the mindset that I’m going to listen… and the way they approached me was different from other programs, it seemed caring, so I was willing to listen and be open-minded,” said Peter. “I’ve learned so much. I learned that I was holding on to a lot of anger issues from when I was a child – abuse and being picked on. I learned that I didn’t like myself. I wanted to be a people pleaser. And all the other programs, they never got that out of me.”

Peter’s experience in the Harbor Light program provided him with the support and counseling he needed to make a true change. “The first day in class I actually broke down, I cried, and that to me was what I needed right then. I didn’t know anybody here, and the thing that was amazing to me was that I opened up in front of everybody because I felt safe,” said Peter.

Now he jokingly says that he talks so much that his family doesn’t know how to handle it. They ask him why he talks so much, and he tells them that it’s because he’s happy. He wants to communicate with them and looks forward to being a great grandfather. He doesn’t want to raise them the way his father and grandfather raised him and hopes to teach them to learn from his mistakes.

Peter said “I was ready to… go back to the street, but I’m so glad I came here [Red Shield Services] and The Salvation Army because the life I have now, I wouldn’t give that away for anything. Anybody who wants it can get it here. And you can change who you think you are.”

To help others like Peter find hope, you can make a gift here.

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