Like many youth, as a teenager in Cudahy, Wisconsin, Dustin thought he knew everything. In high school, he was bright, popular, athletic and knew what he wanted: At 6’-7”, he had visions of a basketball scholarship and maybe more. But a serious injury in his junior year derailed his plans.
“I didn’t know what to do,” he says. “At the time, a lot of my friends were starting the whole party scene. I started smoking marijuana at 18 and before long I was doing cocaine, psychedelics, ecstasy and alcohol. I knew I was meant for more in life. I just wasn’t doing it. I was disappointed in myself, but it was easier to get high than to change.”
In 2017, however, he took a hard look at his life. He was working temp jobs, sleeping on a sofa at his sister’s house and his future looked hopeless. “I had to do something to change,” he says. “So, I did some research and found the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. I didn’t have a Christian background, but I was willing to give it a try.”
He soon turned his life over to Jesus. Through faith in Christ and the Christian community he found at MRM, Dustin’s life completely transformed. In fact, he soon became a leader.
“Even though I’m one of the youngest men here, I started a Christian men’s accountability group called B.O.S.S. Club — Brothers of Spiritual Strengthening. We’re all about building relationships, because it’s only through these relationships — here, at church, in the community — that we’ll get through. When we stumble, somebody will be there to help us up. We’re role models for each other, and Jesus is our ultimate role model. A successful life comes through God’s grace and relationships.”
Now Dustin has a new life plan: He has decided to serve in the military, like much of his family.
“I can’t thank the donors of the Milwaukee Rescue Mission enough,” he says. “They’re doing something amazing here, whether they know it or not. They changed my life. I couldn’t have done this without them, without God or without my Christian brothers.”