Jesse looks forward to promising career, family restoration
Two years ago, Jesse entered the Mission battling alcohol and anger issues. Now, he’s looking forward to a promising career as an EMT and reuniting with his wife and children. “I don’t know what God has for me,” Jesse said. “But I know he’s got it all under control. I know he’s been preparing me to go home.”
Jesse grew up in a tough neighborhood in South Sacramento, a child of a volatile marriage and an abusive father. After his father left when he was 7, he and his brothers bounced around to different relatives for the next 10 years. Jesse describes his childhood as full of “fighting and chaos.”
Jesse met his wife at a surf-company dream job, and they had a child. But when he lost the job, he spiraled. The couple had two more children, but Jesse had started drinking and his anger came out. When he entered the mission’s Life Recovery Program, he immediately started recognizing his anger issues. That was two years ago. Jesse called the program “the last stop for me.”
Jesse graduated and entered the next phase. “The transitional living program has been nothing short of amazing,” Jesse said. “We have a fridge with food in it. We have the freedom to leave and get work. I’m able to visit my family, test the waters.”
Jesse got a job working at a screen print shop when a project caught his eye. “We were printing up some gear for the San Francisco Fire Department, and it just hit me,” he said.
Jesse decided at that moment to look into becoming an emergency responder. “Within two weeks of that initial intrigue, I was enrolled in EMS (Emergency Medical Services) 101 and Basic Life Saving Skills classes at Alan Hancock College,” he said. Jesse got his certifications and was accepted into the EMT Academy, where he’s since graduated. He’s taken his national test, and is waiting for the results. Once he passes, he’ll be a certified EMT and can explore work posts.
For now, Jesse is working at Christian’s Mattress Xpress. “The owner came to one of our graduation services and asked if anyone needed a job,” Jesse said. “I thought I was getting a warehouse job, but Christian himself decided he’d rather put me on the sales floor. That type of work, I’ve never done before. I’m used to construction—putting on roofs, tearing down houses—to be able to have this job there I’m not killing myself, making decent money, having some down time and them allowing me to study with it, it’s awesome. God blessed me with this job.”
Jesse has saved money, got his driver license back, and had fines removed from San Bernardino and Riverside counties. “I’m realizing my ability from a different perspective, from people who are more normal, who have had more success in life, rather than from the point of someone like me, who has only had anger, mental abuse, neglect. Being at the mission, talking to (the staff), they broaden my perspective. They never fail to sit and listen and give me straight-up understanding. Instead of foolish pride and anger, I consider what the Lord would have me do.
“They give me scriptures to coincide with that—that’s how it becomes super valid for me. It’s great encouragement. Scripture never fails; that’s my anchor, that’s my rudder—it helps me keep my bearings.”
Jesse kids are now 13, 5 and 3 years old. “My children, they are my motivation,” he said “I have to be there for them. I didn’t have my parents, and I don’t want that for them. I know I can’t screw this up anymore; I need to do the right thing. I get to see them, go camping, four-wheeling. It’s keeping that connection, them knowing that I’m in their life. Everything is coming together.
“I appreciate everybody involved with the mission,” Jesse added. “We don’t take this program lightly. The provisions, food, utility bills—there is so much. I just want to show my appreciation to (the mission’s supporters). I’m so thankful that the Lord is using them. What they’re doing is not a waste.”