Drugs, a butcher knife, hustlers … and God!

David was raised with drugs

David started selling drugs at age 12 — not to get high — but to make money so he could support his brothers and sisters.

“My parents divorced after my dad took a butcher knife and tried to kill us,” David remembers.

“This place taught me how to deal with my anger, how to set goals and how I could help others.”

“After that, my mother needed money to survive. That’s when my cousins introduced me to the idea of selling drugs to buy food and help pay the bills.”

As crazy as that sounds, David was only copying what his relatives had done for years.

“My uncles were pimps and hustlers and burglars, and walked around with $3,000 in their pockets,” he says. “Even though I knew it was wrong, I couldn’t see a better way.”

Addiction Consumed David’s Life

By the time David reached adulthood, he was addicted to the drugs he sold. And addiction proved to be even more devastating.

His addiction cost David his wife, his job and his apartment, forcing him to live on the streets.

This Is Not How God Made Me to Be

“I was bathing in spigots at the side of a gas station . . . picking up cigarette butts out of ashtrays . . . rummaging through the garbage looking for food,” he recalls. “I was living like an animal, but I just didn’t care. I was in survival mode.”

The breaking point came early one morning, after he had panhandled all night to buy beer.

“This is NOT how God made me to be,” he said in a brief moment of clarity.

The next day, David scrounged up a few dollars for a bus ticket and headed for Minnesota. That’s how he eventually ended up at the Union Gospel Mission.

Three Hots and a Cot

“The Mission gave me more than ‘3 hots and a cot.’ This place taught me how to deal with my anger, how to set goals and how I could help others,” David explains.

David’s life took a radical turn because friends like you made it possible for him to come to the Mission.

Thank you for giving so generously, and giving hope to those who have spent too much time living on the edge.



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