Travis's Story

Travis
“One day, this guy pulled a gun on me and fired five shots. That’s when I knew I’d had enough.”

Travis

After losing decades of his life to addiction, Travis found the program that helped him make a fresh start at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

Imagine going to school and being bullied every day. For Travis, that nightmare was a constant reality all through childhood, and the anger it sparked drove him to withdraw from his family and start using drugs and alcohol at a young age.

“Meth quickly became my drug of choice,” he says, “because it made me feel so carefree and invincible.”

Travis spent most of his teenage years living on the streets, alternating between juvenile detention and homelessness, until at the age of 21, he ended up in prison for three years.

“When I got out, I was sober, and I stayed clean for quite awhile,” he recalls.“I really thought my drug problems were behind me.”

All that changed when he had a hip replacement surgery. Travis says, “My doctor prescribed fentanyl to manage the pain, but pretty soon I built up a tolerance to it, and then I moved on to heroin and pills and things like that. It just spun out of control. I lost my apartment, my job, everything within a month.”

For two years, Travis lived in his car. “I called it my two bedroom Lexus, because my girlfriend and I both slept there. But after it got impounded, I had no place to go. I’d sleep on the side of houses, under trucks, in truck beds, on back porches, wherever. Nobody wanted me in their house because I was a dirt bag.”

During those days, Travis did anything could to feed his addiction. “Sometimes I'd work day labor. Sometimes I'd just go steal stuff. Addiction is expensive so you do what you have to.”

The turning point came in a hail of bullets.

“One day, this guy pulled a gun on me and fired five shots. That’s when I knew I’d had enough. I reached out to God, and he brought me to the recovery program at the Mission.”

Travis credits the Mission with saving his life. “From the day I walked through the door, everybody was on my side. Everybody's got your back. They all know what you’re going through because they’ve lived it, and that’s really motivating.”

Travis also found inspiration to keep moving forward by giving back. “Going on Search & Rescue, and seeing where I’d be if I failed, was really important to me. God gave me the opportunity to get my life back, and that is something that’s un-repayable.”

Looking back on his transformation, even Travis is amazed. “Three years ago I was a homeless heroin addict. Now I’m sober. I have a great job. I’m starting a family and we’re building a home. Life couldn’t be better.”


"They all know what you’re going through because they’ve lived it, and that’s really motivating"

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