Coming home: Michael’s third time a charm
“Are you ready to come home?” the pastor asked Michael when he showed up at the Mission’s Men’s Center hungry, humbled and tired of living on the streets.
Michael, who had come and gone from the Mission twice before, broke down and cried. This time he was finally ready to let God give him the peace that was missing from his broken life.
The Detroit native came to Central Florida in 1991 and built a successful home improvement business. But when the Great Recession hit, the work dried up and Michael started selling his tools one at a time just to make ends meet. Eventually he was out of tools and out of his rental home, and then things quickly went from bad to worse.
“After having plenty and going to nothing, I reverted to drugs and alcohol to kill the pain and fill the loss. That didn’t do anything except bring me further down.”
What little money Michael earned through day labor, he spent on drugs instead of food.
“I’d sometimes go two or three days without eating. They say you can always find food and maybe that’s true. But it’s never enough. I was always hungry.”
One cold day last winter, after making the rounds of local shelters and coming up empty, he returned to the Men’s Center. He had already joined and quit the Discipleship program twice, and he didn’t know if he’d get a third chance.
“I lasted maybe a month the first two times. I just wasn’t ready to make the changes I needed to make. So here I was again. I had nowhere else to go. I was hungry. I was sleeping in alleys. I’d had guns pointed at me. That’s no way to live and I couldn’t take it anymore.”
Michael was welcomed back with open arms, and this time was different. This time he listened to the daily messages of how God could transform his life. Within a month God took away his urge to use cocaine, and a couple months later Michael gave his life to Christ. He was baptized in July and today is taking a seminary class with hopes of someday working in ministry.
Michael spent last Thanksgiving on the streets, wondering where his next meal would come from. This year, he’s giving thanks for three meals a day, safe shelter and a life free of addiction and loneliness. He’s been at the Mission for 10 months and sober for the last nine.
“I’m so thankful for how God has restored my life, and I’m thankful for the Mission. I’m glad they were here for me when I was finally ready to come home.”
The Mission was still here for Michael when he was finally ready to clean up his life and start down the road to permanent independence. Your gift today will help provide a fresh start for another homeless man, woman or family.