Overcoming addiction at Union Gospel Mission

Drunk, homeless and close to death

Drugs and alcohol cost Gerry his home, health and family. But walking across the street saved his life.

Gerry’s childhood set him up for a disastrous life. Born poor on a reservation in Canada to alcoholic parents, by the time Gerry was 10, he was an alcoholic himself.

At 13, he had already been to rehab for drugs and alcohol twice.

His Family Gave Up on Him

Over the next 37 years, his lifestyle wrecked his relationships and his health.

Gerry came to the Mission with only the clothes on his back.

His family gave up on him, except for an aunt who rented him a room. But when he stopped working and paying rent, she kicked him out. He was sick and homeless.

Gerry remembers, “My eyes and skin were turning yellow” — signs of serious liver disease.

Hunger Drove Him to the Mission

Gerry couch-surfed with friends until he wore out his welcome. In the summer, he slept outside or in a shed behind his ex’s house. Finally hunger drove him to Union Gospel Mission.

He Turned His Life Over to God

He’d come for meals, waiting for a spot in the long-term program, but couldn’t stop drinking. In desperation, he called the Mission’s Christ Recovery Center. Gerry came to the Mission with only the clothes on his back.

Today, Gerry is sober and working again. Sobriety, rest and good food have restored his health. Deeply grateful to the Mission, he says:

“They loved me and let me stay here, and that meant a lot. My own family told me to hit the road.”

During a lakeside Mission retreat, Gerry turned his life over to God, and now relies on His help. He says, “I’m working the program, taking it a day at a time.”

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