Carl was considered an “at-risk” kid, and unfortunately his story is not uncommon. Many of the issues we face as adults stem from traumatic experiences in our childhoods.
“Growing up, there wasn’t a lot of love in my family,” Carl said. “Everyone was using drugs and alcohol. I’ve seen my parents wasted more times than I can count.”
By the time Carl was sixteen, he was using drugs and alcohol to numb his pain and fill the emptiness in his life. Because he considered himself an atheist, Carl didn’t see any point in trying to improve his life.
“I figured, since there was no purpose for me— we just die and then nothing— why should I live responsibly? Why not just live for my own selfish pleasures? And so I did.”
After years of living irresponsibly, Carl found himself lost and alone. Having chosen his addictions over his family and other relationships, he’d burned all of his bridges. At the age of twenty-five, when other young men were establishing careers and families, Carl was living on the streets.
“I lost my job, had no money and nowhere to go. I did a little research and found the Mission’s website. I knew that it was a religious program, but I figured I may as well try. At the Mission, they received me with open arms. They were willing to take me in, love me and give me a place to rest my head.”
Then Carl made one of the best decisions in his life: he entered the Men’s Recovery Program and took those first steps to changing his life forever. Since being at the Mission, Carl has developed into a leader and was named Resident Assistant (RA), an honor reserved for those who show true maturity. He also discovered that he has a heart to serve others.
“I had a misconception of homeless people. I thought they were old, drunk men who panhandled. Once I got to the Mission and got to know them, I realized that they are people struggling, just like I was. It is a blessing to help and serve them.”
After completing the Mission’s Recovery Program, Carl enrolled in college, where he has proved to be a fine young man and an excellent student, too. After finishing his first semester with a 4.0 GPA and making the Dean’s List, Carl is well on his way to earning his Registered Nursing degree.
“I’m going into nursing because it’s a way for me to continue serving others. It’s the least I can do to repay all the help that has been given to me.”
Because of caring people like you, Carl received the help he needed to transform his own life and to devote himself to making others’ lives better. If you would like to help us save more people like Carl, a donation of just $28 will provide a day of treatment, and $196 will provide a week of care in the Mobile Rescue Mission’s Recovery and Career Development Programs.