Lisa Ummel works upstairs from me here at The Salvation Army’s Territorial Headquarters (THQ) for the Western United States which covers the geographic area stretching from Denver to Saipan and Anchorange to Albuquerque!

The role of the headquarters staff is to centralize business services – and save money by eliminating costly duplication of effort – for our Salvation Army units in the field. Lisa’s in our property department, taking good care of our vehicle fleet and property leases.

But it wasn’t always like that for Lisa.

A few years back her drinking and methamphetamine use had created a barrier between her and her loved ones: most of Lisa’s family and friends were no longer speaking to her. In addition to the estrangement, she’d also become homeless and jobless.

At that point of crisis the one friend who remained close reached out to help. On Lisa’s behalf, that friend asked their former soccer coach and family friend for advice on what to do. The coach was a sitting judge and he recommended The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC). Click the white arrow to watch the rest of her story below.

When I watched Lisa’s testimony for the first time I was amazed to find about her connection to The Salvation Army. While preparing to write this story, I asked her if she’d like to fill me in on her life now and she responded with the following:

“In May, I celebrated seven years of sobriety; I have all three of my kids back with me full time; and I just finished my first semester back in college with a 4.0 grade point average!”

We thank God for women like Lisa and give Him all the glory for the beautiful, wonderful transformation she’s experienced. If you know someone who needs help battling addiction, please visit to find one of our no-fee, residential rehabilitation centers near you.

There are more stories like Lisa’s on our Expect Change – Salvation Army Stories Facebook page. “Like” the page and get a weekly feed of inspiring stories about the redemption possible when we call out to God for help.

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