Former addict guiding others through Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center

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FLINT (WJRT) - (1/11/2018) - "They'll get written up if their area is out of order, that's part of just being able to care for yourself and having a respect for the area you're in," explained Flint's Salvation Army Executive Director Robert Buttrey.

He explained there's a strict structure at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. Right now, it houses 69 men working to overcome opioid and alcohol addictions.

"I relate well with the men because I've been an addict, you know, I've been homeless at one time in my life," he explained. "I've been incarcerated; and so, I can relate to them on that level."

Robert Buttrey grew up in the Salvation Army family. His parents and grandparents were both heavily involved.

"When I was a teenager, I quit going to church and I vowed that I would never be involved with the Salvation Army," Buttrey said.

But after years of battling an addiction to crack cocaine that landed him behind bars, he returned to his roots. Buttrey said his parents guided him back to the Salvation Army Church.

"I lost it all," he explained. "And that's kind of what prompted me to turn my life over to Christ; and when I made that commitment and I really focused on my relationship, then things started to happen in my life."

Many successes followed, like earning his Masters and rising to the Executive Director position. It's all led Buttrey to pull others up with him.

"They don't have to believe the lie that they're told that they're not going to amount to much because of their situation," he said.

Buttrey added his past helps him understand their stuggles, but he still takes their shortcomings personally.

"It's not so much frustrating, as man, I just wish they would get it, you know? Sometimes it's more of a heartbreak," he explained.

The program is free for all participants. The Center here in Flint actually has room for 103 men.

The centers for women are located in Grand Rapids and Romulus.

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