Ron’s Story

"God wanted to transform me... I’m so thankful."

For 30 years, Ron survived on Chicago’s cold, dangerous streets. He endured sub-zero winter nights with little more than a blanket and an alleyway to block the wind. At times, he was so hungry that he begged for change just to buy some fast food. Once, he even found himself in the middle of a gun battle.

Ron’s homelessness was the result of a heroin addiction. Over the years, it cost him jobs, relationships and everything he valued. He grew estranged from his family, so overwhelmed with shame that he couldn’t bear to face them. He nearly died from overdosing three separate times. Rehab and treatment never worked. “I guess I wanted to do it my way,” Ron says. “But I couldn’t do it by myself.”

“I burned all my bridges in Chicago,” Ron remembers. And yet, for all the distress he put them through, Ron says that his family never gave up on him. They continued to reach out to him, even after decades of hopeless addiction — until finally, he found out about the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. He didn’t know anyone in this city, he just knew he needed help. His brother got him a bus ticket, and he came straight away.

Ron prayed, “Lord, if you love me like they say you do, please change my life.”

The Lord answered Ron’s prayer! “This place showed so much love that I just felt safe … I needed some clothes, I needed food — and it was all provided for me.”

As his basic needs were met, Ron experienced God’s transforming grace. With each new day of sobriety, he has felt new clarity, renewed purpose and a profound appreciation for the love of God and those who care about him.

“There’s a verse I love: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matthew 6:33 KJV) They told me, if you want God to change your life, put your trust in God, not man.”

By God’s grace, that’s exactly what Ron did. And today, he’s a new man — he’s sober, employed, reconnecting with his family, living responsibly and growing in faith. “I’m very grateful! I mean it from the bottom of my heart. This is a place of restoration, hope and love … And without the donors, where would I be? I’d be out on the streets again. So I’m thankful for them — they played a big part. God wanted to transform me, and I’m so thankful.”

Thank you for helping transform Ron’s life!