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“Being sober isn’t my dream now. It’s my reality.”

0915_WMM_NL_02aChris was in jail when he saw how much damage his addiction to alcohol had caused in his life.

Drinking had been “just something fun to do in college.” But when Chris’ mom unexpectedly passed away, his drinking turned into a way to numb the pain of his loss. “I think I used it as an excuse to stop caring,” he says.

Soon, his life was out of control and all he thought about was his next drink. He lied to his friends, alienated family and isolated himself so he could drink in secret.

“I’m not hurting anybody.”

“I wasted a lot of years feeling sorry for myself and that’s when everything went off track,” Chris says. “I figured, I’m not hurting anybody but myself, which is the biggest lie we can tell ourselves.”

His lifestyle led to time in jail…and there, he realized he wasn’t living the life he wanted. By God’s grace, it’s also where he found out about Wheeler Mission.

“Being sober isn’t a dream. It’s my reality.”

Chris entered our STEPS (Steps Toward Economic and Personal Stability) program, which helps men find stable jobs in the community while providing them with short-term housing – allowing them to save money and recover from homelessness or addiction through life-skills classes, counseling and spiritual support.

The program has given Chris the chance to build a new life. “God’s in my life, and I think more about doing the right thing. Living a sober life is no longer just a dream…it’s my reality now.”

After a few months, Chris became a mentor to men just entering STEPS. “The clothes, the food, the beds we have here are a blessing – and I encourage the guys to remember that.”

Chris is also part of the Back on My Feet program, a running club that works with the Mission, currently training to run a half-marathon soon.

“Every day is a journey.”

Now, Chris’ days are filled with mentoring and serving others around the Mission. He’s even given a talk to teens from the community about homelessness and addiction.

“Six months ago, if you had told me that I’d be speaking to high school kids, I would have told you you were insane,” Chris says. “Every day I’m here, it’s another day I’m farther away from that old Chris.”

“I just let my actions do the talking.”

Chris is saving up money for his own place and looking at options for a career in construction. He’s also rebuilding relationships by showing, not just telling, his family and friends how God has changed him from the inside out. “I let my actions do the talking now,” he says.

Chris is grateful to Mission partners like you who allowed him to make his journey from an addict to a man of God. “The people who support Wheeler Mission are truly changing lives.”

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