Stories that Inspire.

Victories to Celebrate.

Victor is taking advantage of his second chance at life

Victor holds two thumbs, smiling and riding a skateboard

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 then use. I did that for five years.”

Things changed when Victor had a daughter, now 12. He cleaned up his act, but eventually relapsed. “With my daughter’s mom, I started using heroin and crystal meth,” he said. “I was so depressed at the time. I would work and then party, do drugs, and just be irresponsible.”

When Victor turned 28, he had a second daughter with a different woman. She is 4 years old now. “I was really battling my addiction then,” he said. “I stopped working and I lived in the streets for a while. For two years. I was homeless and I had no hope, no nothing.”

Victor said he would go to jail “all the time, many times. In two years, I went to jail at least 10 times,” he said. “In jail, they gave me a chance to get sober and start doing things right. I also knew I’d get deported if I didn’t quit my addiction.”

Victor learned about the Mission and arrived in January. “I give thanks to God, first of all, for giving me another chance to be a normal person,” he said. “I’ve been using drugs and in my addiction for half of my life. God give me this last chance to be a man, to mature. I want to do good. I’ve done enough partying in my life. I’ve thrown enough years of my life in the trash.”

Victor, now 33, said he’s always believed in God. He grew up in a Catholic family, although they didn’t go to church. “I always knew there was a God somewhere. I knew that whenever I prayed, I believed God was there all the time. But right now, I believe more than ever before, and it’s changing my life in a good way.”

When things get tough, Victor thinks about his parents, who are still in Mexico. “I think about my mom and dad,” he said. “They worry about me all the time. They really love me. My mom doesn’t want to see me like this, in addiction.

“I’m so thankful to the Mission. It’s a very nice program and they are very good people. They’ve been very kind. The whole program is good— everything: morning devotions, (volunteering) at the store, outreaches. I love to help people. I see people out there, and they need help. Life is hard on the streets. The Bible says to help each other.”

Victor said he used to see his daughters, but hasn’t recently. “Especially last year—I was homeless, really into drugs, on the streets,” he said. “I don’t want that life anymore. My daughters, I really love them. I want to be a part of their lives.”

Now five months into the program, Victor is feeling good. “I love it. I’m pretty sure that I love myself now,” Victor said with a laugh. “I don’t want to be in addiction anymore. It’s really bad, feeling like you are going nowhere, that you are going to end up dead or in jail. I don’t want to be deported. Over there, life is really, really hard. But the main thing is, I want to change my life. And I want to be part of my daughters’ lives.

“I’m going to do the best I can. I’m going to take this opportunity in a 100 percent positive way. Thanks to Jesus. He gave me another chance, and I want to take it.”

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