Lt. Joe Alvarez, Cpmmander of the Lytton Station Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center presented an overview of the work the Army does.
The program today featured the manager of the Salvation Army and 2 of the beneficiaries who have completed or have nearly completed the program and are now ready to reenter the community.
The manager of the program, Lieut. Joe Alvarez  has been with the program for roughly 2 1/2 years in Healdsburg. His goal is to reestablish the Salvation Army's  role in the community by providing service throughout the community.
Lieut. Joe introduced Veronica Velez, the program secretary who gave a brief background of her experience with this type of work. She is excited about changing lives and is working to expand the number of members of the Advisory Committee for the Salvation Army.
Beneficiary presentations:
Trevor entered the program 6 1/2 months ago after having lost faith in the world and God. He had a long history of dysfunction and had previously been in a court ordered program for rehabilitation that did not go well. He is extremely pleased with the help and guidance he has received at the Lytton Station facility. He is currently working at Kings Castle in Windsor and volunteers at the Green Dog Project. He has applied to the Santa Rosa Junior College to gain a degree in some form of counseling and journalism. The faith-based approach to rehabilitation has had a profound impact on his life.
Shawn completed the program last month after building a very strong relationship with God and having learned how to be honest with himself and with others. He feels that Lytton Station and the Salvation Army have completely turned his life around. He has previously attended the San Francisco culinary Academy and has worked as a chef in the past. He is hopeful to gain some form of employment in that capacity in the area.
Lieut. Joe returned to the podium to report on what it takes to get into the program and how the program works. Most people who have come to the program have hit “rock bottom” and feel that the Salvation Army is their last hope. The Salvation Army was founded by William Booth over 100 years ago and is a church dedicated to promoting self respect, respect for others, respect for the community and respect for God. Members must attend mandatory church services and Bible study while in the program. Men come out from program with increased insight into themselves as well as forming a close bond with Jesus Christ who they all accept as a friend.
Our local Salvation Army station is number 1 in the nation in recycling. They have a current need to build a large enclosure-warehouse-for the multiple goods that they receive and prepare for sale.  Lieut. Joe sees the current mission of the station to be a servant to the community. He is hopeful that the beneficiaries of the program can be involved as much as possible in the community with service projects as well as with employment.
Graduates of the program have one of the lowest recidivism rates for adult rehabilitation centers in the nation. Over 90% of graduates remain out of programs and in the community at one year from the time they leave the program.
At the close of his presentation, he reiterated the desire to have a larger Advisory Committee. He also encouraged local employers to seek out men to work for them who have graduated from the program. He also encouraged members that have particular services that might prove useful for the rehabilitation process to come and talk with him about how they may become involved.
Our Rotary Club will make our speaker donation to the Salvation Army.