Nothing could stop me, not an overdose and a cardiac arrest, not even years of sleeping on the streets, homeless. But the last time I went to prison, in 2014, I started going to church. I opened my Bible and read: “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life” (Isaiah 43:4). And when I left prison that November, I came straight to Open Arms.
Open Arms gave me the structure and stability I needed. I’ve been surrounded by ladies who love me, and whenever I needed someone to talk to, no matter how crazy I got, they were there.
Work Rehabilitation: During this 90-day program, men are given community service work assignments on the Mission campus.
This program allows participants to deal with personal issues in a structured environment, aided by one-on-one case management and counseling sessions with our men’s ministry staff, Bible studies, life-skills classes, and employment- readiness classes.
If the man is employed, the transition program will allow him to stay at the mission and save a portion of his wages to prepare for living independently.
There are daily devotions, classes (such as Goal Setting, Managing Finances, and Job Search), and a computerized Learning Center (for improving computer skills and/or preparing for a GED exam).WINGS also is descriptive of the nature and result of the program. Women in this program must be active in a church, and have a job and transportation.Women who complete this program have been given the skills to live an independent and stable lifestyle. They pay 30 percent of their income in programming fees to get ready for the expenses of independent living.God used them to show me I was worth far more than the abuse I’d experienced. Most homeless men are younger than you might think: 1 in 3 are 35 or younger.And in the end, it’s that love, the relationships I made here, along with the grace they showed me here, that changed my life. Some have held good jobs, while others can’t remember their last job. Some have advanced degrees, while some can barely read. About 30 percent of them served honorably in the armed forces.Every day, I was surrounded by the unique atmosphere of positive Christian messages, combined with a realistic approach to life.