Julian was born in Los Angeles, but he moved to Camarillo as a child with his family. Julian grew up in the home with his mom, sister and the man he believed was his father. He later found out the truth, something he still struggles with. Julian went to Camarillo High School, but was often in trouble for fighting. He started using drugs in high school, which also got him in hot water at school and at home. His parents eventually kicked him out of the family home. His drinking and partying worsened, and he started adding heavier drugs to his repertoire.
Julian ended up homeless after his family cut him off. His drug and alcohol abuse was severe and he had started stealing. “A friend told me about the Mission, but I wasn’t ready,” he said. “I was homeless for a while longer and met another friend, a homeless friend, and he talked about the Mission too.”
Julian and his friend decided to take a chance and reach out for help. “I arrived with only the clothes on my back and the cell phone in my pocket,” he said.
Julian said coming to the Mission was a bit of a culture shock at first. “I was and still am the youngest person here,” he said. But despite that, he insisted that the transition wasn’t difficult. Julian has now been at the Mission for more than eight months. “It’s going really good,” he said. “I’m learning a lot from the other guys and from the counseling I’m receiving here. … I’m also gaining trust in myself and other people again.”
Julian enjoys devotion time, as well as the outreach and outside activities the Mission organizes at the parks and the beach. But what has been the most fulfilling part of Julian’s time at the Mission has been in his spiritual life. Before coming to the Mission, Julian didn’t have any relationship with God. “It’s grown out of my time here,” he said. “I’m excited about how close I’ve become with Christ.”
Julian is looking forward to graduating from the Mission’s Life Recovery Program and hopes to go to college. And just as friends encouraged him to come to the Mission for help, he will do the same for others moving forward. “I just want everyone to know that if you have a problem and need help that the Mission is a great place to come to seek the necessary help,” Julian said.
“I arrived with nothing but I feel like I’m leaving with everything. I’ve gained so much being at the Rescue Mission and I feel like I can now have everything that life can offer.”