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2020 Lives changed for good: Joe


When Joe felt like he had nowhere to turn, he reached out to his younger brother, Bert. Bert was getting help with his addiction, and had a place to stay. He encouraged Joe to join him, and that’s how he ended up at the Rescue Mission Alliance Victor Valley.

“I told my brother I needed to stay sober and I didn’t want to be homeless anymore,” Joe said. “He told me about this place. I didn’t want to go back to drugs. He said I needed to get closer to the Lord. I knew that was something I needed. I knew God, but I didn’t ask him for anything. I just tried to do everything on my own.”

Joe was 13 when he got started with gangs, and with that, came abuse of drugs and alcohol. He was involved in that life for more than 30 years. Joe’s circumstances got worse when he was laid off from his construction work.

But when his mother died, he quit drinking and doing drugs. “I felt so down; I had been homeless for a while,” he said. “I said to myself, ‘This is bad enough being homeless, why am I going to make things worse staying on drugs?’ I was so
depressed. I needed God in my life.

“I felt so hopeless (before),” he said. “I felt like I wasn’t going to make it in this world. I felt useless. I was losing everything. Now, I pray every morning and I ask him to give me strength. I’m so thankful that my brother told me about this place.”

Joe graduated in June 2020, and has stayed sober and connected to the Mission. He was in the Transitional Living Program until the end of October, and is now in stable housing in Victorville. He is working on buying himself a vehicle, and is looking to purchase a home within the next year.

“I’m so grateful for the Rescue Mission taking me in at the lowest point of my life,” Joe said. “It gave me the opportunity, not just to graduate (from the Life Recovery Program), but to live in transitional housing until I could find a place of my own. I will always be grateful.”

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