After Years of Going Nowhere

Paul was a talented hockey player and the apple of his father’s eye. But when he was injured and no longer a “star,” his dad lost interest in him.

Heartbroken by his father’s rejection, he fell in with the wrong crowd.

“I started partying, smoking weed and just carrying on,” he shares. He was expelled from school. His substance abuse escalated. And he continually crossed the line between right and wrong. “I got a bad reputation that followed me wherever I went,” he explains… for nearly 30 years.

Finally, by 2016, he’d had enough of going nowhere. His pastor – whom he’d met during time spent in jail – suggested he come to Rockford Rescue Mission. Paul had tried and failed other treatment programs, but believed our faith-based approach might be different. “I thought it couldn’t hurt to try,” he says. “And I’m glad I did!”

In our Life Recovery Program, he experienced firsthand our staff’s dedication to serving our guests’ physical, spiritual and emotional needs. “My health is back to where it should be,” he says. “And they taught me how to deal with my emotions and to be free through Jesus Christ – it’s a wonderful thing!

As he prepared to graduate, he entered our Works! Center Program where he earned his GED. When we connected him with Tom Busse, President of Rockford Toolcraft Inc., a Works! Center business partner, Paul interviewed and was hired for a full-time job!

“Paul had some experience, but better than that, he had the right attitude,” Tom says. “His commitment to being here every day is what makes him a very desirable employee.”

Paul is grateful for the second chance made possible by the Mission’s advocacy, your support and Tom’s trust. Most important to his success, he says, is his relationship with the Lord: “The biggest thing was getting close to God and knowing that He will guide me the right way. And I’ve had nothing but proof of that!

To read our most recent issue of The Rescuer, click here.