Years After Graduation, Billy Keeps On Trucking
Billy was born in Ohio and moved to California when he was 6 months old, where he has lived ever since. Billy describes his upbringing as “kind of rocky. My dad was a truck driver. He was never home. He was there, but he wasn’t. It was just me, my mom and three sisters.” Billy was a good kid when he was young. It wasn’t until his teen years that he started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. “It went all downhill from there. My life took a really bad turn,” says Billy.
Billy struggled for years to hold down a job and eventually became homeless. “I was living in a tent in a field, with nothing more than a couple changes of clothes, trying to keep myself clean. I lived like that through the winter and the summer. The summertime was beyond miserable,” Billy recalls.
Billy would sometimes go a couple of days without eating. “I got caught stealing food from a gas station. I went back and apologized for it and told the manager I was just hungry. She told me, ‘you don’t have to steal from me. I’ll give you some food.’ When they cleaned out their refrigerators, they would give me what they would throw out at night, but they couldn’t do it every night. That’s how I survived.”
This way of life was starting to wear on Billy. “It was heartbreaking because I did not know where my next meal was going to come from. Not knowing if the gas station would be able to give me food that day. It was definitely taking a toll on me mentally, physically, and emotionally,” Billy said.
When Billy’s father passed away, he hit rock bottom. “I was drinking a bottle of vodka a day. I was doing drugs. That was me trying to cope with death of my father.
I was thinking, ‘enough is enough. I can’t live like this anymore’,” he said.
Billy came to the mission and joined the life recovery program. “I reconnected with God and allowed him back in my life. I didn’t want to go back to that lifestyle again.
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Billy knows God has given him a second chance. “I know He has my back and has always been there for me. He always seems to show up at the right time in my life. It’s just amazing how God works. I feel like there’s a purpose in my life today,” says Billy.
It’s been five years since Billy graduated from the mission’s life recovery program. Today, he has an intimate relationship with God, a supportive wife, and has a strong relationship with his kids. When Billy’s mother passed away in June of this year, he was able to grieve and lean on the support of family and friends without looking to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. He has his own truck now and makes a good living.
Looking back on his time at the mission, Billy says, “The mission rescued me. The biggest change that I experienced was learning that God loves me no matter what I’m going through. I’m not going to give up. I have a wife and two amazing boys and they need their dad in their lives. I can’t afford to let them down.”