Steve’s Story

"Not only am I a recipient of God’s love and mercy, but I’m also a recipient of the donors’ generosity."

“I didn’t grow up with the aspiration of one day becoming an addict or a gang member — but that’s what I became. And now, after my time at MRM, I know that if it had not been for God’s love, mercy and grace, I would not be here today.

I had a rough life growing up. I was abused by a relative, starting when I was seven — and from that time on, everything went haywire. I joined a gang at the age of 12, trying to cover up my hurt with drugs, fights, stealing and other mischief… But it just made things worse. I went back and forth to jail from that time up until my 40s. It was terrible. I think if I’d continued on that path, I would have wound up dead or killing somebody.

A few years back, I was incarcerated in a federal prison. It was the height of the pandemic — restrictions were put in place, and all inmates were moved into single cells. For almost two years, I had no human contact. Meals were given through a sealed door with a slot carved out for the tray. The sink that I used for drinking water was the same sink that I used to bathe. I had lost all hope and wanted to die.

One night, my despair was so overwhelming, I began to cry. It was a gut-wrenching cry from a broken man to God for forgiveness. “There’s got to be more to life than this,” I remember praying. “Please save me.

I was still on my knees crying when I began to feel something lifted from me. In the emptiness of my heart there was suddenly hope, forgiveness and love. Two weeks later, the prison relaxed restrictions and I was invited to prison chapel. That was the day that I openly confessed Christ as my Lord and Savior — and that’s when things started to change.

At chapel the next week, I heard about the Milwaukee Rescue Mission and their substance abuse program. That was enough for me to buy a one-way ticket to Milwaukee when I was finally released. I had carried shame, guilt and painful secrets for so long — I knew it was destroying me. But coming to MRM, that’s when everything started to heal.

You see, they do more than just clothe and feed you here — they recognize that you have spiritual needs on top of physical needs. And they address both. In the men’s recovery program, I learned about addiction and how to develop new, constructive habits. We studied the Bible and prayed together. I began to grow in God’s grace. I worked with a mentor, learning to become responsible and practice accountability — and I began to understand the importance of trust and encouragement in healthy relationships.

I truly believe that God provided MRM as a way for me and others to seek and find Him. Today I have a job, an apartment and a brand new life in Christ! God put me in a position where I could continue to grow, as well as encourage people — telling them my story and using it as an example to those who feel hopeless.

I thank God for MRM and the work they are doing in our community — and I thank God for you. Not only am I a recipient of God’s love and mercy, but I’m also a recipient of the donors’ generosity. Because of you, MRM is able to provide shelter, food and clothing in a safe environment for men, women and children … and we are deeply grateful for your generosity and kindness.

Your love and willingness to give and help someone like me is amazing, especially during the holidays. Thank you!”