After twelve years of sobriety, Joseph dove head first into a pit of destruction.
“I had a house, a good job,” said Joseph. “But after a serious accident, I spent months in the hospital followed by a year in a wheelchair. I had to go on disability. I quit paying attention to God. I took the path of least resistance and it cost me everything.” Joseph spent the next two years living on the streets, camping, and occasionally couch surfing.
“The worst part of sleeping outside, especially during the summer are the bugs, insects, and animals. I’ve been so tired I fell asleep oblivious to the heat or to where I was. I recall waking up one morning with mosquito bites all over. Another night, I slept too close to an ant hill and woke up with red ants crawling all over me and biting me. Other times, I’ve woken up with my tent on top of me, soaking wet from the rain, and once I even found a snake curled up next me.”
When a complete stranger hit him on the head with a glass bottle as he got off a bus, Joseph knew it was time to do something different. “Living on the streets is rough. I found out later, that the man who hit me mistook me for someone else. I’d been living on the streets for a while when that happened, but it was the wake-up call I needed to make some changes.”
Having graduated from the Nashville Rescue Mission’s Life Recovery Program in 2004, Joseph knew exactly where to go for help. “I needed a safe place to heal and time to deal with all the things that had happened to me—and I knew the Mission was the one place I could go. They welcomed me in with open arms.”
It is because of you and your support that over the next several months, Joseph had the opportunity to reconnect with Jesus. He enrolled in the Mission’s Guest Volunteer Program, where he found a community of friends he could count on. He saved his money and put his name on a waiting list for an apartment. He had a safe place to heal and time to process the challenges he had faced.
“I’m so thankful to Nashville Rescue Mission,” said Joseph. “There is no telling how many lives have been saved through the work the Mission does.”
And because of you and your generosity, Joseph recently moved out of the Mission and into his own apartment. He’s looking forward to coming back to the Mission, not as a guest, but as a volunteer.