When Paul first came to Nashville Rescue Mission, he had reached the end of his rope. A battle with alcohol addiction had done him in, and he needed a lifeline.
“I’d lived a good life,” shared Paul. “I came from a great Christian family. I attended college, played sports, had a nearly 40-year career as a mortgage banker, played golf, was a member of a country club, and was enjoying life. That is—until I experienced a major financial setback, and things went from bad to worse. Then my drinking escalated until it was out of control.”
At one point, Paul contemplated suicide. But he was worried about his daughter and grandsons. “I had run out of hope,” said Paul.
“But I didn’t want suicide to be the end of my story.” Paul started moving from place to place, selling off anything he had of value until he eventually ran out of money. Paul knew he had to do something different. “I distinctly remember calling my sister, and she said, ‘Well, we’ve got a mission here in Memphis. You’ve probably got one there in Nashville somewhere. You could get a shower, get a meal, and stay the night.’”
That’s when Paul went online and searched for Nashville Rescue Mission.
“I started reading about the Mission’s Life Recovery Program,” recalled Paul. “It was like a doctor wrote me a prescription saying, ‘Okay, Paul, I’m going to put you in a Life Recovery Program. You’re going to do it for six months. It’s a Bible-based program. You’re going to get more physically fit, get acclimated to working again, and get into a routine. You’re going to take classes. You’ll get all your basic needs met. But all this is going to happen through Nashville Rescue Mission.’ It was just the prescription I needed for my recovery.”
Paul says he will never forget that first phone call he made to the Mission.
“When I called, Pat answered the phone; it turns out she had worked at the Mission for over 35 years. I told her I had run out of money, and I didn’t know what I was going to do. When she responded, I heard hope on the phone. I heard that there was help and hope at the Mission. That phone call changed my life.”
“The day I called Nashville Rescue Mission, I heard hope on the phone.”
Paul quickly learned that the Mission does so much more than provide a person with meals and shelter.
“You can come into the Mission broken, disheveled, dirty, stinky; it doesn’t matter,” said Paul.
“At the Mission, they will give you everything you need. They don’t charge you a penny and will meet all your basic needs—freely and lovingly. Food, clothing, safe shelter, they’ve got it. Counseling and life coaching to teach you how to live better and do better, that’s at the Mission too. Educational needs, they’ll help you move forward no matter where you are. It’s more than I could have ever imagined.”
And over the next year, as Paul participated in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program, his life was transformed. “What this place did for me—it allowed me to breathe again,” shared Paul. “I don’t know if many people ever get the chance to take a time-out like this. I know they call it a recovery program, but for me, it was a restoration program.”
In the Life Recovery Program, Paul was assigned a life coach who helped him establish goals for himself and develop a course of action that would get him out of the situation he was in and move him into independent and sustainable living. He also learned new coping methods, putting some unique and precious tools in his toolbox to keep him on track.
“Through God’s grace, the Mission is here!” exclaimed Paul.
“It’s amazing to see a place like this where donors’ hearts are being touched to give, and the people who work at the Mission are willing to put so much effort into helping people,” said Paul. “This is all God’s love. You feel that warmth. You can feel that love, most definitely from everyone who works here. I don’t know of any place in the country you can do recovery better than right here. If there is one, I’d like to see it. The Mission is the place—and it’s all right here.”