Making A Difference That Matters

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Alex wants stability, and a future with his daughters

Alex was exposed to drugs as a child, smoking marijuana when he was just 8 and starting to experiment with other drugs by the time he was 11. “It was whatever I could get my hands on,” he said. At 13, he started selling. “I was a full-on drug dealer, picking up pounds (of drugs).…

YEARS LATER, ANTHONY IS ‘PROUD’ TO HAVE BEEN PART OF THE MISSION PROGRAM

When Anthony arrived at the Mission a few years ago, he was coming off a long time on the streets, including on Skid Row. “If I saw a needle on the ground with a little something in it, I would pick it up and stick it in my arm,” he said. “That’s how bad it…

DIRECTOR’S NOTE – Let’s talk about alumni

This month I connected with five past graduates of our Life Recovery Program, and three clients who didn’t complete the program. These connections fill my heart and encourage me. They remind me to show grace to current clients, especially the troublemakers! In recent years, the Mission has been focusing intently on alumni. We do this…

MIGUEL MARVELS AT HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 8 MONTHS SINCE GRADUATION

It’s been eight months since Miguel graduated from the Mission’s Life Recovery Program. He still can’t believe how different his life looks now, just a year-and-a-half since he first sought help. “To be where I’m at and to have everything I have, it’s crazy,” he said. “Being able to go to the program, and just…

VICTOR RECOMMITS TO THE PROGRAM, EXPERIENCES THE DIGNITY OF WORK

After being recently dismissed, Victor returned to the Mission’s Life Recovery Program to give it another try. He was welcomed back by the other guys in program, got his things unpacked, and set up near his old bed. Then he said he wanted to head to the thrift store for his vocational training. He was…

Victor is taking advantage of his second chance at life

Victor was born in Mexico, but took off for the United States when he was just 16. “There was no work over there, so I came here in 2004,” said Victor, who is a painter by trade. “When I started working, I also tried cocaine, and started using. I would work, get off work, and…

Drugs help Zach numb emotional wounds from his youth

When Zach looks back on his childhood, he sees a kid who had everything he needed, but who dealt with some challenges along the way. “I never went without, but I felt alone,” he said. “My dad treated me differently. I was the only son that was his (others were stepchildren). My dad spoiled me—everything…

After 10-year sobriety streak is broken, Marco looks to the mission for help

Marco has been a Christian his whole life, he said. “I was saved when I was 10 and went to church every week.” After high school, Marco went to college and got a degree in music and worship. Despite his commitment to God, Marco found himself struggling with alcohol. “I would drink sometimes on the…

Dallas focuses on healing from traumas, growing spiritually

Dallas’ parents made only rare appearances in his childhood. He grew up in Oklahoma, primarily with his grandparents, until his grandfather died of a heart attack. Dallas was just 13. “I gave him CPR, but I couldn’t resuscitate him,” he said. “Shortly after, my grandma overdosed. I got her to the hospital. Two to three…

After 15 years in and out of jail, Miguel just ‘let God take over’

Miguel’s rock bottom came in August of last year. He had recently been released from jail. “I was on the train tracks,” he said. “I was homeless, stinky, and had no food. I was doing badly and using a lot of drugs. I was losing my mind. I had an awakening. I needed a program.…

Abel looks forward to being there for his 10 grandchildren

Abel grew up in Guadalupe, and moved to Santa Maria at 10. In school, he didn’t have trouble making friends, and enjoyed playing sports. “In high school, I started hanging out with the wrong crowd—you know how that goes,” Abel said. “I dropped out after the 10th grade. “After that, I found the love of…

Rickie looks to squash for good his battle with drinking

After Rickie finished high school in Lompoc and got his music degree from community college, he married, and the couple moved to New Orleans. Rickie’s wife was earning her law degree and he got a job at Tulane. The couple had three kids. But in 1998, Rickie and his wife divorced. “Going through that, it…