Stories that Inspire.

Victories to Celebrate.

Turning Myself In

Man Smiling Outside

Charles states, “The moment that I felt like I needed to seek help was when I found myself alone in downtown Santa Barbara. I didn’t know how I got there or what I was doing and I had nothing with me. I was out of control and felt suicidal. I just started crying out to God. I told him I didn’t want to die. I called the police to come and arrest me and I went to jail.”

“I went to court and I asked to be put in a program,” he continues. “In the past, I would just do the time and get out. But this time, I felt like God was whispering to me to do this program. My family had shunned me, my girlfriend couldn’t handle it, and I had been homeless for about six months prior to being arrested.” After turning himself in, the Mission took Charles in and provided him refuge while putting him on the road to recovery and restoration. He shares, “I never went to church before, so this is all new.”

Charles says, “Before, I was really reclusive and now I’m in the position of helping coordinate volunteers and working with the public. So God is challenging me. I’ve even worked at the Call Center.”

Regarding his future, he explains, “My plan is to go back to Santa Maria, be a dad to my kids, continue to grow in the Lord, find a good home church, and stay connected to what the mission does by volunteering. I want to stay close to where I got saved and was baptized.”

To those in a similar situation, Charles encourages, “run, not walk, to the Mission. I learn something new every day.”

Charles concludes, “Thank you for making this place free. It saved my life and there are more guys out there on the streets that need this place to be open.”

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