Tye Said The Mission Program Is God ‘Saving The Best For Last’

When Tye reflects on his childhood, he thinks of his sister. She was very sick, and was often in the hospital. The family moved around because of her care needs. “I started acting out,” he said. “I was drinking and using marijuana and inhalants. I started running away. I was just rebelling.” When his sister passed away when Tye was 17, he was already in and out of custody. “I didn’t really get to grieve with my family,” he said. “I was separated from them in juvenile hall.”

Tye tried crystal meth and said that’s what “really got a hold” of him. He started getting adult charges and spent time in prison. “The drugs made me feel better about myself,” he said. “I wasn’t bad at school, but I always thought I wasn’t going to amount to anything. Even at a young age, for some reason, I always thought that.”

Tye said he’s been struggling for about 16 years. “Things got worse,” he said. “Nothing was really a threat to me for a long time. I’d already experienced the consequences of where you go when you do the worst. I got comfortable with that kind of life. I’ve been in and out of jail and prison countless times already. There just wasn’t a threat.”

More recently, Tye started tiring of his situation. “I was homeless, had lost everything,” he said. For the last two years, I’ve been doing a little better. I’ve been getting jobs. But I always seem to throw it all away for some reason. I’ll go back to using drugs, end up back on the streets, and lonely, without anybody or anything.”Last year, Tye was arrested again in Los Angeles. “I did a month there and was put in the hole for 19 days for something I did while I was in there,” he said. “They give you a bible in there, and I asked, I prayed, ‘If you get me out of here somehow, I will become a spiritual person.’ I had tried other things and it hadn’t worked for me. My charges were serious, but they were dropped, dismissed, and I got out. I came straight here to this program.”

Tye had been to the mission when he was 23, but only lasted two weeks. “I was still young,” he said. “I wasn’t ready. I never came back here. I stayed away from here for some reason. Maybe because the program is so long. It’s a commitment to change. I think God wanted to save the best for last.”

Tye has been in the program since October. “I’ve seen myself become more humble, and I’ve learned to be nice and show respect,” he said. “I’ve been putting in the work. I thank God and I thank this place. All the stuff they’ve helped me with has helped me gain more confidence in myself. It’s making me feel good about myself. I have a bed, I have a shower,
I have food. There are such good people here, so it’s helped me want to do better for myself and become a better person.”

Tye said that although the program once seemed long to him, he’s now hoping he has the time to learn everything he needs to. “I don’t want it to go too fast,” he said. “I want to cruise through and take my time. I’ve learned that hurrying through it is not always the best thing for you.

“You couldn’t ask for more here. They provide everything. I have peace. It’s hard to find peace. I have peace in my mind, and that’s a gift when you have nothing and are always worrying about everything.”