Over two decades ago, Baltimore native Darrell K. Robinson came to Philadelphia as a man seeking recovery. His heart to serve God and all of God’s children gave him the platform that eventually became the genesis of Everything Must Change in the Heart of the Community. His wife, co-founder Evangelist S. A. Ellison-Robinson, is a native Philadelphian community activist, certified life coach, and ordained licensed minister. Since 1984, Mrs. Robinson has been active throughout Philadelphia communities as a volunteer for financial literacy for low-income residents, as well as in the industries of building construction, office management, skincare consulting (CEO of M. Elle Shea Products), emergency human services corporations, and as the Program Manager of Everything Must Change systems. Since its inception over 25 years ago, the program has been operating without federal and state funding. The foundation of the program’s inception was based on a philosophy of spiritual morality and positive reinforcement that all of God’s children deserve to be loved, cared for, and prepared to be positive role models for the community. In that regard, Dignity Community Construction was born to fund the program and to provide its recovering clients with on-the-job training.
Currently, the program provides sober housing services for over 60 clients, living with chemical independence along with mental health challenges. The program has a recidivism rate of less than 20 percent. This equates to 80-90 percent success rates for total recovery. It is estimated that since its inception, the program has provided recovery and transitional services to approximately 3000 recovering clients. The program alumni population includes approximately 2000 people who have gone on to pursue higher education, become gainfully employed, and now serve as productive citizens of the community. Overall, Everything Must Change works with strength-based counselors and people who are willing to help make a difference. Its goal is to succeed in providing job training and placement to recovering clients. They seek to help clients maintain a clear view and improve themselves and their lives so that progress continues with every step that they take. Everything Must Change values a principle of compassion and a promise to serve those who come for help with the dignity and respect that they deserve.