"I hated myself every day. I wanted to die. I had to find some way to get help."
“I had a lot of anger issues … I had a very violent life. I even ended up in a penitentiary three times.”
Patrick wasn’t always angry. As a young child, he remembers, “We had a nice house, and everything was beautiful.” But after his parents divorced, his life slipped into a downward spiral.
“At age 12 I became the protector, because I didn’t have anybody to protect us,” Patrick explains. As a result, he began to walk a destructive path. “I got involved in the violent part of life,” he says, “selling drugs, doing drugs and drinking.”
What followed was years of addiction, emergency room visits, incarceration … even the death of his stepbrother from an overdose. He admits, “I thought that being a tough guy was cool. Selling drugs was okay.” But eventually, Patrick realized he couldn’t sustain that lifestyle — and he got scared.
“I didn’t want to be homeless,” he says. On the streets, “There was prostitution everywhere, drugs everywhere. It was, to me, hell on earth. I started to know I didn’t fit in anymore in that world. I needed to get out.”
Alone and desperate, Patrick was tired of the way he was living. “I hated myself every day. I wanted to die. I had to find some way to get help, and God led me to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.”
While Patrick believed he needed to change, it was when his intake drug test here at MRM revealed fentanyl in his system that he knew it without a doubt. “I had fentanyl in me, but I don’t do stuff like that!” Someone had slipped fentanyl into his drugs, he explains, “and that freaked me out.”
“I talked to my advocate and told him, ‘I am not going to leave this building until I’m better.’ He’s like, ‘That’s the same way I felt when I came.’”
Since he’s been at MRM, by God’s grace, Patrick has gotten control of his addictions — and his anger. “Reading the Bible and going to church and everything taught me how to be a different man,” he says. Through our long-term program — offering addiction recovery support, job readiness, spiritual guidance, counseling, education and more — today, Patrick is a new person.
“My mind has been transformed. Because of God, my future is wonderful. I’m sober, I’m structured, and I have a new sense of purpose.”
Grinning with joy, he says, “I thank the donors for that, because without them, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have the hope that I have now. Thank you for saving my life!”
For folks like Patrick, your generosity is truly making a life-changing difference. Thank you for helping make transformation possible here at MRM!