Charles’s Story

I grew up rough on the streets. The streets and gangs taught me a warped version of what it meant to be a man. Money, women, sex, showboating, drugs, staying up all night, fighting — these are what the streets taught me a man was all about.

Some of the kids I grew up with are dead, incarcerated or still involved in illegal activities. I was shot when I was 19 and almost died. Then I went to jail for selling drugs. In jail, I came to Christ. But when I left, I didn’t know how to live for Him. I never went back to drugs and gangbanging, but I didn’t know how to make life work.

By the age of 35, I was unemployed and sleeping on my mom’s couch. When she finally kicked me out, I was homeless. Desperate, I prayed to God — and He led me to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

When I got here, I said, “God, I trust you. I’ll do whatever you want.” It wasn’t easy. I had to change my whole focus, my thinking, everything. But God gave me a peace and used MRM to show me how to be a real man, a godly man, building my life on love and the values of Jesus Christ.

Since I left, I’ve enjoyed the best four years of my life. I have the best job I ever had, I love my church, I’m engaged to be married, and I love giving back to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. I’ve referred several men in the MRM program to my employer, and I hope to always be a part of MRM.

I am so grateful there’s a place like the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, and for people like you who support it. I’m grateful, not only for what you’ve done for my life, but because you’ve given me a chance to minister to others.