By Vincent P.
I ended up at City Gospel Mission because one day the Mission Jobs Van manager asked me if I wanted to work for the day cleaning up the city instead of panhandling.
The Jobs Van made me feel good about myself. I felt like I was earning my money instead of someone just giving me something. It gives you a sense of purpose.
When he (the Jobs Van manager) started telling me about the Mission, I compared it to the way I was living. That is when I realized how bad I was really living.
I was staying under a bridge down by the stadium. I took him up on his offer to come to the Mission. And it has made a world of difference.
I went hungry plenty of times on the street. But if you go hungry at City Gospel Mission, it’s your own fault. There are many volunteers who come in to serve meals. It’s comforting and nice to know that I’m not going to go to bed hungry, and that when I wake up, there will be breakfast available.
On the street, you don’t know what you’re going to wake up to. A thief or a raccoon. Here you don’t have to worry about protection from the rain or have to wear 70 blankets because it’s freezing out. Just taking a shower. Laying down in clean linen. Things you take for granted until you do without, you just appreciate it more.
Right now, I have some medical hurdles. My doctors say I’m suffering from PTSD. I suffer severe depression and anxiety. I spent two months in a hospital for it. I’m just making it a priority to take care of myself, to take my medication.
When the time comes, and I’m whole again, I’m going to try to rebuild the bridge with my family. I hope to get back into restaurant management, which is what I went to school for.
I’m happy again when I look in that mirror. My world is opening back up. I could be dead already, but I’m not. I’m praying every day about getting better. I learned that God is not done with me yet.
There is a lot of love in the community. Every dollar that is donated is appreciated. It’s put to good use with no waste. Every dollar has its purpose, which is something we learned in one of the Mission’s classes.
To the people who have donated, thank you for saving my life. Thank you for turning my life around. Thank you for your prayers. I really do not believe I would be here right now, and a lot of guys in the shelter wouldn’t be, without you. I thank God for the blessings you give us.
City Gospel Mission is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS rules and regulations.