Faith in Action: Salvation Army rehabilitation program

- They're best known for being some of the first out the door for disaster relief. But it turns out, each and every day, the Salvation Army is hard at work restoring a different kind of peace.

Born and raised in Tampa, Rocky Rocamora was a standout from the start on the ball field.

"I played baseball since I was 3 years old. Went to Chamberlain High School. Started all four years at Chamberlain," he said.

By his junior year, he was heavily recruited by Florida State.  His senior year, he signed on to start at the University of Tampa. But despite his success on the diamond, off the field, he was failing. Drugs had become a constant in his life, threatening everything of importance to him.

"I was broken, in a very very dark place. I didn't know what to do or how I had gotten where I was," Rocamora said.

After failing drug tests and struggling in the classroom, Rocky ended up out of school, baseball, and hope. Somehow, he ended up at the Salvation Army's Rehabilitation Center in Tampa.

"It was like I was in a tornado. My life was spinning a thousand miles an hour. I didn't know where to go or what to do and I'd run out of ideas. By them allowing me to come to the Salvation Army and helping me, it gave me an opportunity to just sit still. And to allow the opportunity to let God pull me out of that tornado," Rocamora said.

For up to a year, the program lodges, feeds, and clothes those in need for free.

"When they come to us, there's a lack of trust, a lack of faith, and a great deal of hopelessness," the Salvation Army's Major John Reed said.

Through professional counseling focusing on the mind, body, and spirit, the Salvation Army works tirelessly to get men back on the path to sobriety. Organizers say faith is the foundation of that fight.

"It truly is a life that is saved in every respect," Reed said.

That's the case with Rocky. The Salvation Army was the only door left open during his downward spiral. He's sober and now serves as a mentor at the center, routinely sharing these words of survival:

"Nothing's impossible and you're never too far gone from the reach of God," Rocamora said. 

The Salvation Army's rehabilitation program is free to clients. They're able to pay for the service through donations and sales at their stores.

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