Losing it all never felt so good

Birmingham, Alabama- (January 18, 2011)- Growing up, Randy Dinkins never lacked for anything. A normal home with great parents, a mother that looked after him with great care. Like many though, drugs and alcohol removed the gifts given by his parents. At the age of 40, Randy’s life was spiraling out of control, and his safety net, his mother’s help, was lost when she passed. “It all changed at that point,” remembered Randy. “My mother was always there taking care of me and now I had to grow up and take care of myself.” The problem was drugs and alcohol made that a difficult task. He eventually lost everything left to him by his parents, and he found himself homeless living under the Green Springs overpass. “I lost the cars, furniture, house, you name it, all through drugs and alcohol,” he said. With nowhere else to go, he made his way to the Salvation Army Emergency Shelter in downtown Birmingham. The shelter would become his life, living and working within the walls that would ultimately transform him into a new man. The Men’s Program Coordinator, Eugene Griffin, became Randy’s friend, mentor, and eventually boss. “He drove me to be better,” Randy said. He would soon be working for the Salvation Army as a house monitor, and was growing as a man with Eugene pushing him the whole way. His experiences in the past really helped him to relate to the clients coming in for the services, and they reminded him of where he had been not too long ago. His job was fulfilling, helping some that he knew, as well as those he didn’t. There were a few bumps in the road, the biggest being the unfortunate passing of his mentor, Eugene, who was killed in a car accident. It was a tough time, but he held on to the lessons learned and ultimately attributes success in rebuilding his life to him. Randy would eventually take over the job as Men’s Program Coordinator, bringing his life full circle, and is now helping so many that are where he once was. Looking back, Randy expressed how the passing of his mother was the best thing that could have happened to him. “When I lost her, all of a sudden I had to do for myself, and I finally did. I thank her so much now.” He is living his dream everyday, always putting integrity first and enjoying life. “Knowing that I have done right and in the right way is the biggest reward I could receive.” ___________________________________

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