"I was a drug user and I wanted to stop. I wanted to get a fresh start..."
“When I was young, I didn’t know it, but I was angry a lot. I believe that’s because of the situation I grew up in,” Jeffery admits. He was raised in an unhappy, unstable home — one full of brokenness, drugs and divorce.
As Jeffery got older, he grew resentful … and rebellious. His life was headed in the wrong direction — but rock bottom finally came when both of his parents passed away. Suddenly, his life was spinning out of control. “I went astray. I started using drugs, first marijuana and then cocaine.”
Jeffery’s drug addiction was destructive not only to himself, but to his work and his family. “I was a functional addict — working jobs, spending too much money, then losing jobs,” he confesses. “I was married for 20 years, and I messed up a good marriage with a beautiful daughter and a beautiful wife.”
Addiction drove Jeffery into despair — and eventually, homelessness. “I was a drug user and I wanted to stop. I wanted to get a fresh start and be at peace,” he explains. Though divorced, his ex-wife wanted that for him, too — and asked him one day if he’d ever thought about going to a shelter for help. That’s when Jeffery turned to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.
“This place gave me a jumpstart. They clothed me, fed me and put a roof over my head. It’s a place of love and kindness,” Jeffery says. “They equip people, giving them the tools to get back in the world and be productive.”
Through the New Journey Program, he learned to be accountable — “for what I had done in the past, and to admit my wrongdoings.” The only way he could overcome what he had done, Jeffery realized, was to be humble and take his past to God. He began to grow mentally and spiritually while recovering from his addiction — and, for the first time that he could remember, he had hope.
Today, Jeffery’s a new man. After eight months of comprehensive programs, he graduated from New Journey, reaching the goals he had set — he’s co-parenting his daughter, works full time and has his own place. But more importantly, “I can’t stop the smile on my face because I’m just excited. I’m born again!” he exclaims. “Every day I get up in the morning and I’m at peace because I know that God is present. This place changed my life!”
Reflecting on the donors who helped make his life transformation possible, Jeffery is grateful. “I want to thank you with all my heart!” By God’s grace and through your generosity, he says, “I was lost. Now, I’m found. Just like the prodigal son, I’m coming home.”