Dean's Story

Dean
“My first meal here more than filled me up. It felt like it just went to my bones.”

Dean

Dean couldn't sleep. It was winter in Seattle and he was underdressed for the near-freezing temperatures. When the rain and wind hit, he sought refuge under a bridge. And so did the rats.

“I had a great job, but most of what I earned went to my addiction. Eventually, I lost everything.”

Dean found the love and motivation he needed to start a new life through the recovery program at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

“I was born and raised in Vietnam. My mom put me on one of the last helicopters leaving Saigon at the end of the war. It caused me a lot of pain. When I got to America, I didn’t even know my own name. The worst part was I forgot my mother’s name. For years, I tried to cover those feelings with drugs and alcohol.”

Although Dean had a well-paying job, most of his income was spent on feeding his addictions.

“Even with all that money, I just felt so miserable. Eventually, I lost it all. I never thought I’d be homeless, but I was. I just remember praying and asking God to really come into my life. That’s how I found the recovery program at the Mission.”

Today, Dean oversees all the kitchens and food service operations at the Mission. A graduate of the Men’s Recovery Program, he’s been living a life free of drugs and alcohol for four years.

“I’m passionate about touching people through the meals we serve. Every day I try to connect with somebody in a positive, uplifting way. I want to share the gospel through my actions. I want to extend the love and gratitude I feel to others.”


“There are times in the kitchen I just cry because I know what the guys in line are feeling. It’s amazing what a simple meal can do to for a person when they’re hungry.”


Your donation today will help feed the soul of someone like Dean, and provides a meal and care that leads to a new beginning.

Will you help change more lives? Thousands of broken individuals will come to the Mission this year. And like Dean, many will be on the brink, ready to throw in the towel, unless they can find something to live for.

Every $2.17 you give today provides a meal and life-transforming care.

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