How Hard Can It Be - Mike's Story
Army vet Michael Blair is a perfect example of what homeless men often face when they are trying to get back on their feet.
Michael spent years in the Army and was planning to make a career out of military service. However, he was eventually asked to leave when his alcohol addiction became too much of a problem when he was in his forty’s. Alcoholism caused him to run through several good jobs over a 2 year span before deciding he needed help.
That’s when he turned to Good News a few years back. Of course, while meeting with counselors or attending daily Bible or Chapel services Michael was exposed to the Gospel and, at the end of week 1 at our Men’s Shelter, he received Jesus Christ as his Savior.
Since arriving he has become a faithful member of a local church, completed 2 welding certification courses at Ivy Tech and remained sober for several years. While welders are in demand in Indianapolis, Michael can’t get to work because he doesn’t have a vehicle and owes a few thousand dollars in BMV fines.
Thankfully, 3 weeks ago God blessed him with a full-time Assistant Manager position at Family Dollar on an IndyGo bus route. Although his travel time to and from work is lengthy, Michael is determined do whatever it takes over the next several months to save enough money to pay his fines, reinstate his license and buy a car.
Michael is so close to finally getting back on his feet. Please pray with us that he will persevere and continue to walk with God!
From Incarceration to Celebration
At the age of 56, Greg Rusk has his life on the right track. But this wasn’t always the case. Greg struggled with an alcohol addiction for the majority of his life. He never felt it was that big of a deal because, as a “functioning alcoholic” with a good work ethic, Greg was always able to find good employment. Even though drinking caused him to lose several jobs, he always found another. However, his habits eventually caught up with him when he was arrested and put in jail for theft and repeat DUI offences.
Upon release from jail in May of 2014, Greg had nowhere to go and nobody to turn to. Because he had no home address the jail dropped him off at the doors of Good News Mission. This seemed like rock bottom to Greg, but little did he know how this would change his life. Greg had made a profession of faith in Christ earlier in life, but had never grown or learned to walk in God’s ways. Through the Bible studies, chapel services, and counseling sessions, the Word of God was firmly implanted in Greg’s heart giving him a stability and hope he never had before.
With his good work habits, eventually he was given the opportunity to be our Thrift Store Manager where he excelled in leadership and customer service. Because of this job training he was able to land a stable job managing various aspects of a local sustainable foods group. Greg was able to stay at Good News with his job and save enough money to eventually get his license back, buy a car, get insurance, and save nearly $2,000!
Greg has been sober now for over 2 years. He attends church faithfully and has a great support group with fellow Christians. Drawing closer to God and making wise choices has made it possible for Greg to move into his own apartment this week. When asked what his plans are for the future Greg said, “I intend to do all the things I’ve learned to do here. Work hard, go to church, read my Bible and continue to grow spiritually. I want to live the Christian life outside of the Mission like I did while I was in the Mission.”
When The Line Is Drawn
‘Chaotic’ would be an accurate, one-word description for Dustin’s childhood. Even though he frequented churches growing up, Dustin’s life was hardly impacted by them. Rather, he became bitter over the deaths of close loved ones and turned to substance abuse by age 14 to ‘cope’ with life. Before quitting high school all together, Dustin had been expelled from schools three different times for selling drugs or fighting.
If that wasn’t hard enough for Dustin, he had to watch his mother live in fear of her boyfriend who constantly abused her. Dustin was practically a full time alcoholic by the time he moved out on his own at the age of 19. The only glimmer of light that Dustin found through leaving was a girl that he decided to move in with.
Everything seemed great early on. They even had three children together. However, Dustin found that not even the love of his life could keep him from turning to the bottle and, after a twelve years together, she could not take his addiction. He had become violent with her and was even arrested for domestic battery and received a DUI shortly after. Because of his actions, Dustin was thrown out on the street and told never to come back. He had hit rock bottom. He realized he had become the exact thing he hated as a young boy.
With nowhere to go he checked into the nearest homeless shelter, Good News Mission. Dustin admits that he only intended to sleep one night then leave. But the next day he felt compelled to make a real effort to change. It wasn’t much later that Dustin heard the Gospel and accepted Christ into his heart. Feeling that he now has a fighting chance to overcome his alcoholism, he enrolled in our addictions recovery program. Dustin is also working in our Thrift Store and gaining real retail experience all while staying clean from drugs and alcohol. He hopes to reunite with his family in time and share with them the new love he has found in Christ.