Andy has had people who watched over him for 31 years: His mom who sheltered and cared for him, even when he was smoking marijuana and later using heroin, and the mentor from his high school days in the Young Life Christian program.
Andy’s mentor had recommended our Hebron program even before Andy got into the trouble that sent him to jail. “He was the only one who would answer my phone calls,” Andy remembers. “He said he wouldn’t bail me out, but when I was released, he flew all the way from California to try and help, but I wasn’t ready for treatment.” Two weeks later, Andy was sitting in jail and realized that he did need help. His mentor arranged for someone to drive Andy to us.
At first, it was all overwhelming. Andy had never been in a shelter, never lived with people who were homeless. But then he came to the realization that doing things “his way” hadn’t worked out, so he “gave it a chance.”
“The Lord has really put leaders in front of my face,” Andy says. He graduated from our Hebron program and stayed to enter our Servant Leadership Training program which allowed him to continue to grow personally and spiritually while serving in the Christian community at the same time.
Today, Andy is taking part in a pastoral leadership residency program at his church that’s having a big impact on the lives of teens, just as his high school program did for Andy. He also works here at the Mission with guys in our programs to help them find local churches and support networks.
Andy’s best relationship with young people is the one rekindled with his four-year-old son! “His mom went from ‘I don’t want you to see him’ to letting me pick him up from pre-school and having him in my apartment!”
“I have an eternal peace now…And hope for the future!”