Standing Arm & Arm
Arm & Arm addresses the recovery process at three levels – individual, group, and community. We develop a transition plan for each person who enters our program. Then, we guide each peer through a process of accountability and responsibility.
Our services include the assignment of a mentor, specialized workshops, one-on-one sessions, and participation in small group sessions. Individuals then come together to be part of a group–-the Arm & Arm network. We provide a support network that fosters trust and relationships and we hold one another accountable for our goals.
"When we choose to do something about who we are and what we are, only then can we change where we are."
Kelvin Manurs had his first drink when he was only six years old. As a teen, he drank to avoid feeling stressed and insecure.
By the time he completed his military service at the age of 24, he was addicted to both alcohol and drugs.
He held his life together enough to start a family and build a tenuous career. He continued to drink and use drugs for the next 17 years, adding to his depression, PTSD and anxiety.
Then, he hit rock bottom. He lost his job, his family, his reputation, and his will to live. He was living on the streets. He was shot several times. He stopped using drugs, but moved on to sell them to others.
Then, the Arlington Police arrested him for drug possession. He could no longer run from the truth--that his efforts to feel important and significant weren't working.
During his time in prison, Kelvin finally heard God calling him to use his life and experiences to help others.
Kelvin was ready to face the reality of who he was and whose he was (God's beloved child). He credits the Holy Spirit with giving him the courage to talk openly about his addiction, his traumas and his hopes.
For the next five years, he wrote, studied, talked to other inmates, and listened to the Holy Spirit. In jail, Kelvin launched Arm & Arm initially as a support group for former drug dealers.
While in prison, he learned how to use everything he'd been through to empower others.
When he rejoined our community in April 2014, he dedicated his life and career to building Arm & Arm. Now, a registered 501c3 nonprofit, Arm & Arm offers behavioral health services to the people of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
"There's a person out there who only you, with your individual, personal experience, can reach," says Kelvin. "Please join us. We need you to work with us and help others know that there's a place for them."
Kelvin is a U.S. Army Veteran, and served during Operation Desert Storm. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife of 31 years, Cynthia, and their family.
Arm & Arm’s mission is to empower individuals returning home from traumatic experiences (e.g., incarceration, military service, homelessness, substance abuse) with tools that will enable them to make rational evaluations of themselves, their situations, and their circumstances, and subsequently make healthy and proactive decisions, as they navigate their way back into society.