Nick's Story

“My whole life I tried to be somebody else”


Roughly one in three youth on the streets in King County has been involved in foster care - sometimes living in more than 20 homes before age 18!


“My mom was a very abusive, alcoholic, gambling, drug addict, growing up,” Nick says. “She wasn’t much of a mom.”

The times she was actually at home, she would be sleeping off the effects of whatever drug she had gotten high from the night before. When she was out, she was gambling and partying. Then the whole cycle would start over again. Not surprisingly, with no one taking any responsibility, Nick and his mom were thrown out of the place they were living in.

Nick was taken away to live in a foster home. The first of many.

Growing up in an environment where no one really cared where he was, meant Nick frequently became restless. He ran away from his foster homes, desperate to find some meaning in his life. But with no adult role model to look up to, Nick drifted.

“I had to grow up really quick,” he says. “I didn’t have many people who would try and teach me how to be a man, so I just had to learn on my own.”

At 12, Nick was smoking weed to quash the empty feeling inside. By 18, he was doing “club drugs” like Ecstasy, and going to raves. At 21, he was shooting meth and heroin.

Surviving on the streets.

Nick’s partying lifestyle eventually led to the streets — and homelessness.

“I would sleep under Macy’s, under their banister, or Nordstrom’s, or wherever. Within the Westlake area – I’ve probably slept in at least 10 different places,” Nick recalls. The foster kids all stayed together. “When you’re homeless in my group, we take care of each other. It’s like a family type thing.”

No one is unlovable.

Then, in a very short period, Nick broke up with his girlfriend, had his car towed away, and got in a crazy fight with his brother involving pots, pans, cups, a pistol, and a knife.

At the end of his rope, Nick tried to kill himself. But after waking up in the hospital, Nick realized he had been given another chance. So he resolved to change his life at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

Finding hope at the Mission.

Today, Nick is more stable than he has ever been. He shares, “Today, me and God have this understanding where I’m just going to follow His will. It’s just inspiring to me to go from ‘I have no control over my life to, oh, I can do something about my life. This is the first time in my life where I feel like I don’t have to please anybody. I can just be me.”



Today, me and God have this understanding where I’m just going to follow His will.



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