Robert’s Story

"Now I can look at myself in the mirror and feel peace. God gives me hope."

Sometimes you’ve got to hit rock bottom before you can look up. At least that’s what happened to Robert. He’d made a lot of poor choices along the way — substance abuse, anger issues — and spent some time in jail. “But I didn’t care at the time,” he says. “Not even about going to jail.”

For Robert, rock bottom didn’t come behind bars, but in a “dungeon” of another kind —a basement floor. Robert was homeless at the time, and a friend let him crash in his basement, where Robert slept on a mattress on the floor. He took stock of his situation and had a revelation: “It was degrading,” he says. “It was shameful, because I knew my actions had gotten me there.”

Once he admitted that to himself, Robert made the best decision he’d made in a long time: He came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

Finding His Worth
Robert grew up in a troubled home with a single mom and an abusive dad who spent time in prison and was rarely around. Robert’s mom struggled with alcohol and drugs, “but she did her best,” he says. “I was taught to go to work, get a good job, be on time, finish school. Things were kind of rough growing up, but I still had a fun childhood.”

He says his later poor choices were entirely his own: “The decisions I made in life had nothing to do with my childhood.” Those decisions, he says, put him “on the road to destruction.” He was angry. He was depressed. And at times, he thought about suicide.

“I thought I was no good,” Robert says. “I thought I was trash.”

By the time he walked through our doors, he was ready to do whatever it took to turn his life around. He dove into our New Journey program, which helps men break free from their addictions. He says the love and support of our staff, combined with a spiritual awakening, has been life changing.

“I’m growing closer to Jesus every day,” he says. “I’m not the best with words, but I can see it working on me. I can see my mind healing. I feel human again, knowing I have worth. God says, ‘You’re forgiven.’ Now I can look at myself in the mirror and feel peace. God gives me hope.”

And he thanks you for your part in helping him find that hope!

“I’m amazed that there’s people out there that want me to do better, people that don’t even know me,” he says. “They’ve taught me the true definition of compassion. Thank you!”