Steven's Story

“I tried to get clean every way possible… but when I finally surrendered to God, that was the one time I managed to get clean and stay clean.”


Steven grew up around drugs and alcohol. After losing everything to his addictions, he found the program he needed to start a new life at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

Listen to Steven's story below.

When Steven looks back on his childhood, most of his earliest memories involve drugs. His dad was a heroin addict who sold drugs and both of his parents were alcoholics. 

“I grew up thinking that abusing alcohol and drugs was normal,” he says. “After my parents divorced when I was 13, I moved in with my dad who didn’t have any rules and he let me get away with everything.”

Soon, Steven dropped out of school and started partying all the time. “At first, it was just a social thing,” he says, “but as time went on, I was using drugs and alcohol to block the pain of my parents' divorce and the pain of losing girlfriends.”

Things continued to get worse. “Alcohol controlled my life for years. It pushed people away and destroyed all of my relationships, including two marriages.”

During his 20s and early 30s, Steven was often homeless. “I haven't had my own place since I was 18,” he says. “I’d live with girlfriends and whenever they kicked me out, I'd be homeless again. The last time it was summer, and I thought it would be cool to sleep in a tent, but things got rougher and rougher, and my alcoholism got worse and worse. I blew a 0.5 regularly. I was legally dead all the time.”

After nearly three years of living on the streets, Steven hit rock bottom. “I called an ambulance and tried to get them to take me to detox. They said they couldn't help me, but they’d give me a ride to the Mission.”

Steven credits the Mission with saving his life. “I tried to get clean every way possible, so many different treatment centers, so many different AA and NA meetings, but when I finally surrendered to God, that was the one time I managed to get clean and stay clean.”

During the years when Steven was trying to get off drugs, he remembers getting clean for a period of time and asking a pastor to pray for him. Three different times, in three different churches, a pastor put his hand on him and said, "Why are you running? You're supposed to be helping people."

Today, that’s exactly what Steven is doing.

“I used to be homeless next to the very college that I just graduated from,” he says. Sober for six years, Steven recently received his AAS degree with honors in Chemical Dependency.

Today, he’s employed by King County Drug Court and is working toward his BA in Youth Development.


“I’m so grateful that I am able to use the experiences I’ve had as a way to reach out to young people who are struggling and help them start down a different path. I couldn’t have done that without the Mission.”


Your donation today will help someone like Steven who’s lost their way find the kind of unconditional love and support they need overcome addiction and homelessness at the Mission.

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