Ray’s Story

Ray had worked hard all his life — “but I liked to play hard, too,” he explains. A functioning alcoholic, he spent 23 years making a life for himself in Florida. “I drank every day, probably since I was a kid. But I was working, managed a couple of restaurants, had my own apartment.”…

Demetriana’s Story

Growing up near our K4-12th grade school, Cross Trainers Academy (CTA), Demetriana knows how critical it is for children to learn in a safe, nurturing environment — because she went to school here, herself. As a youngster in the Lindsey Heights area, “it’s always been really dangerous where I live,” she explains. “If I…

Anthony’s Story

Anthony sat in his truck at a Park and Ride — homeless and devastated by an out-of-control crack addiction. For years he’d dabbled with marijuana, always able to function and perform at work. But once he was introduced to cocaine, things went downhill fast. His life fell apart, and he shut himself off from…

Johnny’s Story

“The first time I felt loved is when I joined a gang at 15. They were my brothers. I thought, ‘Wow, here’s where I’m supposed to be.’” Growing up, Johnny struggled to find his place in the world. His mother left when he was just a baby, leaving him to be raised by an…

Monique’s Story

“It started with a bad relationship last year. I thought it was healthy at first, but it moved too fast. It was very controlling, very oppressive.” It was a new, exciting relationship, and Monique was looking forward to the future. But as little disagreements grew into hostility, she felt suffocated, frightened and unable to…

Craig’s Story

“Wasted potential.” That’s how Craig saw his life. Despite growing up in a stable household, he rebelled as a teenager — he started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and began using drugs and alcohol. What started as youthful defiance led him down a heartbreaking path of brokenness, addiction, homelessness … and nearly a…

Janetta’s Story

Between a difficult childhood and a teenage pregnancy, Janetta’s life hasn’t always been easy — “But I know God won’t let me down.” Eventually, through God’s grace, she found peace. She got married, and her family started a new life in Mississippi. Sadly, it wasn’t only the move that went south — but her…

Ron’s Story

For 30 years, Ron survived on Chicago’s cold, dangerous streets. He endured sub-zero winter nights with little more than a blanket and an alleyway to block the wind. At times, he was so hungry that he begged for change just to buy some fast food. Once, he even found himself in the middle of…

Dale’s Story

“I’d never been to Milwaukee except for when I was born here.” Life has taken Dale all around the country in his 61 years — from serving in the military to working in a fabrication shop in Elkhart, Indiana — but it was only two years ago that he hopped on his bicycle and…

Nakisha’s Story

Though she’s young, Nakisha has faced a lot of adversity, including challenging family relationships. Several years ago, during a difficult period of her life, she turned to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission for help. She and her three kids took refuge at Joy House, our shelter for women and children in need. “That first time…