Albert Gets Help, And Isn’t Looking Back

Apr 26, 2019

Albert grew up locally with two brothers, his mom, and his dad, the latter of whom was very strict. “My dad was always really tough, so even though I knew people using weed in seventh grade, I didn’t do it,” he said. “But by the time I was 16, I wasn’t doing too well in school. I had passed it up so long, but I was still failing, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ I guess with peer pressure, being accepted by friends—I just didn’t see the importance of my future.”

Albert was doing drugs on and off when he impregnated his girlfriend at 17—she was 15. “It was rough because we were so young,” he said. “We didn’t know what to do and we were scared, but we wanted to be together.” Albert’s first daughter has Down syndrome, and was born with a heart murmur, which required open heart surgery when she was young. “It was hard on us, but I tried to rise to the occasion.”

Albert moved in with his girlfriend and her parents. They had another daughter before getting married, and had a son shortly after. “At that point in my life, it was more about the kids and getting a good job,” he said. “I thought I was done with drugs.”

But when Albert was introduced to meth, things changed. “At first I used mostly on weekends and it wouldn’t really affect me,” he said. “But then it started to become more frequent. I’d stay up for days, show up late for work, get fired, and find another job. I destroyed my marriage. I wrecked a couple of cars. I wasn’t being the supportive father I needed to be. “After the divorce, things spiraled. I didn’t care anymore. I saw it as, ‘I can’t have a family, I can’t be with the person I love, I can’t be around the kids. What’s the point?’”

Albert ended up on the streets, committing crimes to support his drug habit. He spent years in prison. And in 2013, Albert’s brother was stabbed and died after a fight escalated at a house party. “My drug addiction was already at its full blown peak,” he said. “I was so depressed and lost and confused once again. I was just thinking, ‘What’s going on in my life? How could this happen?’ It was devastating. I just kept using and using.”

Albert was now chronically homeless, living on the streets, using drugs, and stealing. “I didn’t want to live like that anymore,” he said. Albert tried some programs, but would always backslide. “My character just wasn’t right yet.”

Albert ended up back in jail, and entered a treatment program there. “I was reading the bible, praying—I had a study group with a group of guys,” Albert said. “This is where God intervened.”

Albert was facing years in jail from a prior charge. Since he had violated probation, he would need to serve a deferred sentence. But somehow, to Albert and his lawyer’s surprise, the sentence was vacated. He was released from jail, and two weeks later, a bed opened up at the mission. “I had heard about the mission and had spoken to Chris (program manager),” he said. “I told him I’d do whatever it takes.”

Albert arrived at the mission in December. “God’s really working in my life right now, and I see it,” he said. “Fellowshipping with the men here is just a great feeling. The staff has helped me understand the need for Jesus, the need for a savior—that aspect of my life. That’s something that even though I read about, I never really understood. Now, I understand my brokenness and my sin.

“It’s just awesome. I’m in contact with my kids, and talk to them all the time. I get to go see my parents. But most importantly, I’m building my relationship with God in my life. I’m really hopeful for the future. I don’t see myself turning back. I’m so grateful for that.”


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