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"They made me feel like a human being again."

1116_urmw_nl_02.jpgJustin began experimenting with drugs and alcohol when he was in high school. “It was just on the weekends to help me socialize,” he says. “But by my early 20s, it was becoming a problem.”

For the next 10 years, Justin’s abuse continued to escalate, destroying relationships and costing him jobs. Then his girlfriend kicked him out for using, and he found himself homeless.

“For the next couple years, I slept in parks or under bridges in the summer, and in wintertime, on people’s couches,” he says. “I pan-handled, all while battling depression and suicidal thoughts.”

Finally, he wore out his welcome with friends and, when the weather turned cold, came to our Emergency Shelter. It was then when his life began to change. “I grew up Christian and fell away from my faith, but while going to chapel every night as an overnight guest, I rededicated my life to Christ,” he says.

Then he entered our New Beginnings life-change program, and his transformation continued. “Staff challenged us to pray and memorize scripture. They opened my eyes to faith, to trusting in God,” he says.

Justin flourished in the program, moved into his own place, and now has a steady job, and an active role in his church. He also serves meals at the Mission once a month, as a way of giving back.

“I remember the smiling faces of people at the Mission as they served me a meal or said, ‘God bless you,’ or lifted me up in prayer. They made me feel like a human being again,” Justin says.

“One of the lessons we learned here is that God blesses us so that we may bless others,” he added. “I went from holding up a sign for spare change to being a productive member of society.”

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Help other men like Justin…

Justin’s story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our New Beginnings Program exists to help other men in the Wichita area find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?