“I had just given up…” [Andrew’s Story]

It seemed to start harmlessly enough in high school – just a drink here or there helped Andrew overcome severe shyness. It gave him the social life he craved and an outlet to kick back against his strict upbringing. But over time, that indulgence developed into an ever-worsening addiction. As his life collapsed and his money ran out, Andrew says he reached the “bottom of the barrel” and was drinking rubbing alcohol.

His family had tried to help, even when he got a DUI and lost his job. But after a drunken argument with his parents, Andrew was arrested, and they placed a protective order on him. “I just sat in a park miserable, drunk and trying to figure out what to do. I was hopeless, so broken inside … I just had given up.”

It was then he remembered a segment on the news about how Phoenix Rescue Mission helps people deal with the root problems that lead to addiction and homelessness.

“I honestly believe it was God that got me here,” he says. “I got comfortable being miserable because it’s what I knew.” As he persevered in recovery, Andrew has owned up to the suffering he caused himself and others. He says, “Today my favorite verse is, ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ All the things I lost have been added back into my life! My parents lifted their protective order. My 13-year-old daughter was even here for my graduation from the program. It was the most amazing day of my life!”

Andrew says it’s thanks to generous friends like you. “I’ve always wanted to help other people, but I could never help myself to save my life. Here, I’ve been able to work on myself, earn a peer support certification and then also be in on-campus client leadership. To be able to give back to the Mission that saved my life, but also to be able to help others, I truly enjoy it each day. It doesn’t even feel like work to me!”