Richard's Story

Richard
“I remember wishing I could just go to sleep and never wake up. I prayed to God for some kind of change.”

Richard

Richard found the love and support he needed to escape addiction and homelessness through the recovery program at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

Richard started using drugs around the time he was eight years old.

“I wasn't addicted, but it helped me escape a very traumatic home life. As I got older, every time something happened that I couldn't deal with, or I didn't want to deal with, I would just go and numb myself by getting high.”

As an adult, Richard’s lifelong drug use intensified. He struggled to fit into society. He’d get a job and quickly lose it. He’d find a place to stay and lose that, too.

“After I got out of prison, I started using needles to get high. I didn’t care about anybody, or if anybody cared about me. I couldn't hold a job. I burned all my bridges with friends. I’d lost everything and was completely homeless.”

Then came the night of March 13, 2013.

“I remember wishing I could just go to sleep and never wake up. I prayed to God for some kind of change. A half hour later, the Mission’s Search & Rescue team found me sleeping on a piece of cardboard. They asked what was going on in my life and how they could help. That night I got involved with the Mission and I haven't left since.”

Drug-free for 5.5 years, today Richard works at the Mission as our Emergency Outreach Administrator. Almost every day he hits the streets, reaching out to our homeless brothers and sisters, often driving the same Search & Rescue van that found him.

“I would describe my life today as blessed and hopeful. I’m able to be there for people. To be God’s hands and make sure that people know they matter.”


“I would describe my life today as blessed and hopeful. I’m able to be there for people. To be God’s hands and make sure that people know they matter.”

Help men and women find hope this Thanksgiving

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