ScottScott found the love and 360-degree support he needed to walk away from a nearly fatal drug addiction and start down a new path at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.
Scott grew up in a stable middle-class family. Although he never knew his biological dad, his stepdad entered the picture when he was around six years old and loved him like his own son.
Still, Scott always felt there was something missing in his life. “I felt like I was damaged, like I was invisible. There was some sort of loss that I couldn't put my finger on, that I now realize was not being able to have a relationship with my biological dad.”
Scott began experimenting with alcohol when he was 16. Soon he was drinking until he’d black out, often while smoking marijuana. Pot was more than Scott’s gateway drug, it was a gateway to meeting new people who were using other substances — cocaine, amphetamines, and heroin.
Around this time, Scott’s brother and role model, Bob, returned from the Vietnam War.
“That was a perfect storm. Bobby was struggling with coming back from Vietnam. He had a lot of resentments. I was this young, 19-year-old kid who's self-medicating, trying to fill a big old hole in me that I didn't understand.”
Together they started using almost any drug they could get their hands on. “We lost our apartment. We lost people who’d let us stay with them. Ultimately, we were homeless, living in the desert on a mattress shooting heroin for a couple of years.”
One night, it all nearly ended. Both brothers wound up in the hospital fighting for their lives. Scott says, “I remember looking over at my brother and thinking, ‘Hey, this is the end of the story, our last chapter."
Actually, it was a new beginning.
“The Mission saved my life,” Scott says. “I know that's a cliché. I know it's really Christ who does the work. But there were some men who gathered around me, and they were champions for me. They could see things in me that I couldn't. I think it was their love and grace that helped me get from one day to the next, to where I am today.”
Free of drugs and alcohol for more than 19 years, today Scott is Director of the Men’s Recovery Program. Bob, also successful in his recovery, works as a chemical dependency professional helping juvenile offenders.
“Our program is unique,” Scott says, “in that it’s a year long. It’s a strategy that works for people who haven’t done well in other treatment programs. The other thing that makes lasting transformation possible is we’re faith-based. We just believe that Jesus makes a difference in people’s lives.”
The Men’s Recovery Program begins by focusing on core issues that lead to addiction, such as abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Once those issues are being addressed, people are better able to move past the addiction stage and into recovery.
“It’s so exciting for me to know that God is using me to help men get reunited with Him,” Scott says. “Every day I’m blessed to be able to help them get back on the path of life.”
Every $32.65 you donate today will enable someone in desperate need to receive a day of the same kind of extensive support and recovery services that changed Scott’s life.
That includes meals, shelter, hygiene, clothing, staff support, and classes — everything the Mission provides for lasting transformation.