After going through phases of using different types of drugs he said he found his "true love" (at the time) of methamphetamine. Because he couldn't afford to buy meth, he started selling it, and then eventually making it on his own.
He said he went to church again because he didn't want to lose his family. At one particular service he began to uncontrollably cry.
After a friend told him that it was okay to cry and "this was like a cleansing," Sal said, "I literally felt the weight of my sins, without question, off my shoulders. It was such a relief because I had done so many things that I was ashamed of — it was what we needed to do to survive in the streets."
Yet, one more time, after a brief time of sobriety from drugs, he began to use heavily, especially after his wife had left him. "I had given up on being any part of society whatsoever," he told me.
Sal says his final days of using and selling drugs included a violent confrontation with another drug dealer and if it wasn't for the fact that part of him was already at least listening to God's will, he may have entered into an even darker world.
Finally, a friend helped him get into a sober living home. And this time, Sal kept moving forward as someone wanting to do God's will in his life. He has been sober for 13 years, serving for 5 years as the manager of the Brick House Sober Living Home in Pomona. He also started a ministry at his home church (Faith Community) that provides transportation for clients from American Recovery Center and takes them to church for their 12-Step meeting — and then again to their church on Sunday.
"When I left the sober living home environment I never left working with people in recovery," Sal explained. He reflects on his past life. "I think everything prior to Homes of Promise was preparing me for Homes of Promise. I believe that with all my heart because the Lord was evident in my life at various stages and whatever route I would have chosen, the Lord would have me here, right now, one way or the other. Everything was for His plan and that's why my heart is in this (HOP) completely."
While the vision for Homes of Promise includes more recovery homes in the local area, and a network of Christ-centered recovery homes throughout the nation with the help of churches, Sal reflects on founder Ray Adamyk's belief that it's also about the restoration of men's lives.
"I believe in the vision that's been put on Ray's heart to develop men so they can develop themselves to be better husbands, better fathers, and better members of society," Sal said. "I'd like to help in any way to produce God-fearing men, not just Christians per se, but true followers of Christ, people that will follow the word of God."