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Lives changed for good: Gary


After suddenly losing his wife, and struggling with his twin boys—both with special needs—Gary turned to drinking. “I took to drinking pretty quickly,” Gary said. “As my boys became more difficult when they were approaching puberty, I started drinking more and more and more. I got myself into a place way over my head.”

Gary got help at the Central Coast Rescue Mission, a sister mission, and went to school after he graduated the program. He entered a 10-week internship called Ignite in preparation to serve in ministry. But Gary suffered a brief relapse, and decided to immediately nip it in the bud. After talking with the program manager at Central Coast, they decided it was best that Gary get a change of scenery. He came to the Ventura County Rescue Mission last July. “I was nervous,” he said. “It was so much bigger and totally different. There weren’t familiar faces, but it was still like family.”

Gary said he really felt God’s presence at the mission. “You have God’s house… There’s a chapel. You work, and then you hear and study about God, and talk to other guys about God. It’s on a different level. I had some really amazing time with God. I’m really glad that I came. It all makes sense.”

It’s been eight months since Gary graduated from the Mission’s program. He spent time in the Transitional Living Program before moving to Arizona. He works in Tempe, but lives in Phoenix, so he’s praying for more affordable housing so he can stop commuting.

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