Breaking the Cycle
Speaking from experience, Greg states, “You gotta get sober. You gotta find a good support group. You gotta surround yourself with good people. Don’t get caught out there. It sucks you in and soon you are on the streets and it becomes a cycle that is hard to break.” For Greg, that cycle broke. In its place is the peace and rest of the mission.
It started early in his childhood with an absent father and readily accessible alcohol. He says, “My dad drank all the time and I saw it. Then he left my mom and us kids. There were cases of beer in the garage. I would sneak a hot beer. I was the only one of the kids that could drink a beer and not throw it up. When I got to the 6th or 7th grade, I could drink three beers without getting sick. I saw my dad do it and I thought drinking was part of being a man. Soon, I was just drinking all the time. I liked the taste of alcohol. I liked how it made me feel. It made me forget about a lot of the pain in my life, and it was painful growing up without a dad.
“I developed an addiction to alcohol during this time of my life. I eventually went to live with my grandfather because my mom was busy with the other kids. I messed around my first year of high school, so my grandfather pulled me out to teach me a trade that I could use to provide for a family. We owned an auto body shop as a family business. I worked for my mother and grandfather there for about 20 years. I was a functional alcoholic, and it wasn’t until my grandfather passed away that I started doing drugs. I’ve been homeless off and on since then.
“After coming to the mission, I went to one of the homeless outreaches and saw some of the people I used to hang around. They looked terrible. They came up to me and said that I was glowing. They asked me how I was doing so well. I said it was because I was clean. I’ve been clean for months now. Recently I saw someone from the streets and he said he had cirrhosis of the liver. I told him, ‘You gotta get clean. Nothing good is going to happen for you if you don’t get clean.’ This time I know that,” he concludes.
Thankful for those who give to the mission to break the cycle of addiction and homelessness, Greg says, “If you changed one person’s life, then it is all worth it. I’m here to do this program because I see the all-around positivity. There is a sense of peace being here. I am a worrier by nature. I’m not worried here.”
Thanks for giving to the mission to break the cycle of addiction and homelessness and provide peace and rest for weary souls like Greg.