Justin Leaves Unstable Life Behind, Looks Ahead To A Happy Future
Justin’s goals for his future aren’t elaborate. He wants stability. He wants a steady life free of surprises. He never wants to worry about having a roof over his head again. A year and a half after graduating from the mission’s Life Recovery Program, Justin is reaching his goals. “I’m doing the best I can to save money and build credit,” he said. “The program was really the opportunity that I needed. And now, one step at a time, I’m making progress.”
After graduation, he stayed at the program house for a month as house leader. He became fully employed and moved into the transitional living house. “It was great to be able to do that,” he said. “I didn’t have to go jumping into a world I wasn’t ready for, so it didn’t stress me out. It’s just a process. I’m already committed to making change, growing beyond where I had been.”
Reflecting on his first nine months at the mission, in its Life Recovery Program, Justin is enthusiastic. “It was awesome,” he said. “There is a bunch of wonderful staff to work with and a lot of people who had their hearts and actions inspired by Jesus. Knowing they were here to support me, and that I had an opportunity for change, I was ready for it.”
When Justin came to the mission, he had just been released from jail. He stumbled upon the mission at its coffee ministry. “They took me in that day,” he said.
Justin said he really connected with the teachings. “There’s great curriculum, and I appreciated that they kept us constructively busy,” he said. “It keeps us focused and healthy mentally. The entire program is designed with a great amount of support for those who are ready to make the change. The design of it and the people who run it are great.”
Justin still attends church every Sunday. He got his commercial driver license in April 2018 and now drives a concrete mixer truck, working six days a week. “It’s a stable, healthy place for me to be,” he said. “I had been struggling for 10 years with unstable living conditions, mostly living in my car. I decided I needed to change my life. I was facing complete homelessness with no one to turn to. I never wanted to be in that position ever again. When I started, I didn’t have savings, a vehicle, hardly any clothing even—this place has basically taken care of everything. Now I’m building credit, building seniority at my job and getting raises.
“I’ve learned a lot,” Justin added. “When I was younger, I was selfish and thoughtless. Jesus is a wonderful example to follow; he’s a guiding light. My head is different. My perspective is different. He’s in the back of my mind every time I approach a relationship or meet a person.”
Looking forward, Justin’s goals are to live a happy, stable life. “What I really want to do is become a homeowner and start saving for retirement as aggressively as I can,” he said. “I want to stabilize my future, so I don’t end up in need again.”
None of that would be possible, he said, without the mission. “I appreciate that the mission exists and all the work they do. When I realized I didn’t want to be stuck where I was, I found them. It was just a miracle that I found this place.”