July 14, 2015

When Tragedy Leads to Triumph

Richard’s* story is heartbreaking. He’s only in his 20s, but he has faced more pain than most of us will ever know.

Both of his parents were alcoholics and drug addicts. They separated when he was young, but he stayed connected the best he could.

The first time he was homeless, he was eight. He and his mom were living in the country and lost their home. They had to walk 30 miles to get help. Richard says he blocked out the three days he and his mom spent walking. But you can see there’s a deep, deep pain in his heart.

Richard left home and got married. He earned $250,000 a year running his own business. But then his wife got addicted to shopping. She took his credit cards, cleaned him out and dug Richard so far into debt, he’s still climbing out. That was over five years ago.

Knowing he needed a fresh start, Richard decided to go to college to get a business degree. The day he signed up for classes, his father committed suicide. Shortly after that, his mom died.

It was all too much. Richard couldn’t focus on school so he left and took whatever jobs he could find to keep paying off his debt, including working at a traveling carnival. Trying to escape his pain, Richard turned to drugs. One night, he went back to the tent he shared with his best friend. He pulled back the flap of their shelter and saw his friend, lying there dead. He’d overdosed. That’s when Richard knew that drugs wouldn’t help him escape his pain.

“It was a downhill spiral,” Richard says. “I was killing myself.”

That’s when Richard came in to Everett Gospel Mission. “If it wasn’t for this place being here, I know without a shadow of a doubt I’d be dead.”

Today, Richard isn’t dead, but his addictions are. He’s healing from his life of tragedy and still has a whole life ahead. He’s saving money to get his own apartment then hopes to launch his own business.

His life has been transformed because of friends like you!

“People ask why I stay at this Mission,” Richard says about utilizing the programs we have here. “It’s very simple. This Mission actually cares.”

Thank you for caring!
Thank you for never giving up on people!
Thank you for sharing the love of Jesus with our community!



*Name changed to protect his privacy.