Former teenage alcoholic puts down the bottle to become loving mother with help of Memphis Salvation Army

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- It's easy to see just how much pride Destiny Bean, 22, takes in showing off the place where she and her 4-year-old son, Dezion, temporarily call home.

"This is where me and Dezion call home, our miniature apartment. This is his bed and all of his friends," Bean said, pointing to her son's stuffed animals.

Their home is actually a room at the Salvation Army filled with affirmations and bible versus she's placed on the wall and mirrors to read everyday.

"This is Proverbs IV, verses six and seven. Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you."

The words resonate with Destiny because of a choice she made as a teenager that would affect her entire life.

"When I was about 13, that's when the drinking started, but it was a secret."

She was an honor student with a secret of being a 13-year-old alcoholic crying out silently for help.

"My dad passing and my sister leaving and I felt alone, and I was crying for attention from my mom who was working a lot."

Her drinking continued until she turned 17 and got pregnant.

"I stopped due to be being pregnant, but right after my son was born it started back full force."

For Destiny that meant smoking marijuana and taking pills and drinking even more.

"I was giving my love to an object, to a glass bottle with liquid that took control of my body."

Destiny said her life didn't change until she decided to turn to God and prayed for help.

"I had to surrender and cry out to God, to my power whom I call God, said I have had enough. Please help me, please heal me. I want to stop drinking."

She began calling around seeking help and was eventually told about a Salvation Army program called Renewal Place. It's a two-year residential program for homeless and addicted women and their children.

"I wanted to become a mother, a friend, loving and have all of me, and in order for him to have all of me I had to throw the bottle away."

Today Destiny is a stable mother with plans to go back to school and work, and her son Dezion is thriving at Renewal Place.

"I see a woman, a mother, a spiritual person. Life is good and life is great."


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