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A Long Hard Road

Arthur’s life started outside of the Bronx. But in 2nd grade, he moved to the Bahamas to live with his mom’s family.“Drinking and smoking are acceptable in the Bahamas, even for a young kid,” shares Arthur. “When I returned to New York in the 6th grade, this lifestyle had dangerous consequences.”“I got into trouble for stealing cars and drinking,” recalls Arthur. “So much trouble, that instead of sending me to jail, the authorities sent me to reform school. I continued to make bad choices, so my godmother enrolled me in a drug program for teens. That didn’t help and eventually I dropped out of school.”“My daughter was born shortly after I turned 16,” says Arthur. “I was still a kid myself. I was 18 when my second daughter was born. I was working and despite being an alcoholic, held a job as a mechanic for the City of New York for 14 years. Even with all my issues, I did the best I could to support my family.”Arthur continued to struggle with drugs and alcohol going through rehab 13 times over the years. “Things came crashing down when my new boss smelled alcohol on me and wanted me to go to rehab, again,” says Arthur. “This time, I refused. The next day they fired me.”
In 2004, Arthur found himself completely out of money and living on the streets of Atlanta. A police officer who befriended him, offered help in the form of sending Arthur to a drug rehabilitation center 50 miles outside of Nashville.
“I got on the bus and thought I was ready to change my life,” says Arthur. “I stayed less than a day, didn’t like it and left on foot.”
Arthur started the long walk to the main road, when someone offered him a ride to Nashville. Once in Nashville, a stranger offered him a few dollars and told him about Nashville Rescue Mission—a place he could go, get a free place to stay, a hot meal and a chance at a new life. Arthur decided to take a chance and see where it would lead him.
“When I first arrived, I couldn’t write more than a short sentence, much less an essay,” says Arthur. “I had no
 idea the Mission would provide me with an opportunity to take GED® classes. Through the Mission’s education program I learned how to read, write, create a resume, fill out a job application, apply for jobs 
online and more. Not only did I gain skills, it built up my confidence.”
Today, Arthur not only has his GED®, he’s also graduated the Mission’s Life Recovery Program. He had many job offers upon graduation and now has a full-time job. Arthur is living in the Mission’s Transitional Housing, saving money and making plans for the future.
“I’m so thankful for Nashville Rescue Mission,” says Arthur. “Through this place and the generosity of many people I’m blessed. I got my GED®, I have access to medical care, a job and a place to live. The day my oldest daughter told me how proud she was of me, was one of the happiest days of my life and I owe that to God, the Mission and its supporters. Thank you for changing my life.”
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