Greg never imagined he would be homeless and living in a shelter. But when some serious medical conditions left him permanently disabled, he realized he didn’t have a lot of options. A friend told him about Nashville Rescue Mission.
“Despite living most of my life in Nashville, I didn’t have any one I could turn to in my time of need,” shared Greg. “I had only recently moved back following a 13 year stay in California with my wife and kids. But after we divorced I returned to Nashville.”
Looking back, Greg has had a successful life. He spent six years in the military serving his country. He’s also worked in retail management and spent time working as an electronic engineer. By most standards, his life was normal. But when complications from brain surgery left him unable to walk, talk, and do things most people take for granted, his life took an abrupt turn.
“Recovering from the surgery was hard and frustrating,” said Greg. “It was kind of embarrassing having to relearn how to walk and talk, things I knew I should know how to do. My life was completely flipped upside down.”
He lost his job, and eventually his home. At that point, Greg realized he had nowhere to go. “I do receive a monthly disability check, but once I pay child support, there’s not a lot left,” said Greg. “Today, most places require first and last month’s rent, as well as deposits for utilities. I wasn’t even in a position to save up money for those things. I felt utterly hopeless.”
As a preacher’s kid, Greg spent the better part of his childhood growing up in church. But at the age of 18, as he headed off to the service, Greg turned his back on his faith. He quit reading his Bible and stopped attending church.
“When I first arrived at the Mission, I really had no idea what I was going to do,” recalled Greg. “I would sit around and not really do anything, except maybe feel sorry for myself. But after spending time in chapel services, I rediscovered my faith in God.”
Greg started reading his Bible again and getting involved with various programs the Mission offers. “I signed up to be in the Guest Volunteer Program, or GVP. This program afforded me some privileges and opportunities I might not otherwise have had in exchange for helping around the Mission. I’ve also made some close friendships with other guests as well as staff. We are like family.”
“After losing everything, I was filled with despair,” said Greg. “I was without money. I had one set of clothes. I was at the bottom of the barrel and had no idea how I was going to get out. But the Mission gave me back my hope and my faith. I so appreciate all they’ve done for me.”
Since arriving at the Mission in early 2017, Greg has now saved up enough money to move into his own place. (By the time this story is published, he hopes to be living on his own again.)
“I have hope for the future,” said Greg. “I hope one day I can own a home and possibly get married again. I definitely plan to stay in church. I also look forward to coming back to the Mission to volunteer. They’ve given me so much, I want to give back.”
And for those struggling with homelessness or despair, Greg had this to say, “Don’t just sit there and let time pass by. Get involved. Get into a program. Help yourself move forward. Let your faith and hope be restored.”
Because of you and your gifts, Greg had the option of choosing the Mission over the streets and today he is eternally grateful.
If you’d like to help others like Greg by giving them a choice, visit nashvillerescuemission.org to make a donation today.