RESTORING HOPE. RECONCILING FAMILIES.

After achieving a lifelong dream of having a family, home, and career, Eric’s life began to unravel. A divorce, layoff, and subsequent eviction paved the way to drug addiction and homelessness.

“God loves.
We fail.
God restores.”

Now nearing the end of his time in UGMTC’s Christ Recovery Center program (CRC), Eric looks forward to a career equipping young people with the tools they need to avoid addiction and pursue fulfilling lives. Eric also takes steps each day to reconcile with his three daughters.

When telling his story, Eric begins with his mom: “She was born into a family that wanted a boy and was abused mentally, physically, sexually, and emotionally. When she was in fourth or fifth grade, she came home and the whole family was gone. They moved out while she was in school.”

Found wandering the streets, Eric’s mom was placed in foster care, where she experienced more abuse. When older, she thought getting pregnant would help her escape foster care and abuse.

“She became a single mom with few parenting skills. She had a number of boyfriends, some good and some abusive to both of us. Until my stepdad moved in—the man I call Dad. He was strict and shaped me into the man I am today. He taught me that you keep your hair and nails short, work hard, and don’t abuse women or animals. All that stuff.”

Eric’s parents eventually divorced and, at age 15, he dropped out of school to work full time to support his mother and brother. Several years later, he met a young, single woman with a baby.

“Our friendship turned into a relationship, and we had two more daughters.”

Eric loved being a dad, attending school activities and “dad and daughter” events, and coaching sports—until his marriage ended. Not long after, he lost his job. He fell behind on child support and was evicted from his apartment. All his belongings—including cherished family items— were placed on the boulevard, and he was taken away in handcuffs. When released, his possessions were gone, and Eric was homeless.

After learning about UGMTC and sleeping on a cot on Men’s Campus for a few nights, Eric was invited to join the CRC program. “When I walked through the doors, I saw a bunch of happy, healthy, friendly people that extended their hand and a smile. It felt like a nice, big, happy family—something I’d been searching for my whole life.”

At CRC, Eric earned his GED and several state certifications, including mental health first aid, and serves as a Chemical Dependency Technician trainee at the Mission. “I plan to enroll in college courses soon to become a counselor for young teenagers—before they get into addiction.”

Even closer to Eric’s heart is reuniting with his daughters. “Reconciling with my daughters is my main goal. It might take a while for my daughters to accept me back; I get it. For now, I am trying to be the best me I can be every day. God loves. We fail. God restores. We can lose so much in our life, but He can restore it all.”

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