Stories of Transformation: Brandon

Your support gave Brandon value and a hope he could believe in!

Although Brandon grew up surrounded by a loving family, he had a problem – he never felt he belonged. “Growing up, I was constantly seeking acceptance,” remembers Brandon. “When I didn’t get it, I got bitter. I went to my father for advice, but none of what he suggested worked. That told me one thing – I needed to find my own way.” And he did – among the drug dealers at school. Seeing so many of them making money, getting invited to parties – getting the acceptance he craved – it seemed like an easy decision. But what seems to be the easy path seldom is the best – as Matthew teaches: “Wide is the road to destruction…”

“I just decided to do it my own way. I thought, ‘Let’s just sell drugs, since it seems to be working for other guys,’” says Brandon. The easy money and party lifestyle proved to Brandon that he had found a loophole – a way to circumvent all the hard work and ties that had trapped so many other lives. He was proving the world wrong. “I was in open rebellion to what was expected. I dropped out of high school, later dropped out of community college. I sacrificed anything and everything in pursuit of the money that gave me a sense of self-worth.” It worked for a couple years… kind of.

Slowly, Brandon began to realize he was getting nowhere fast. He wasn’t really “making it.” Not only was he addicted, he was homeless and all those “ties” he had avoided meant he had nothing to his name. “I didn’t really have anything. Apart from the people, the music, the parties… I was nothing.” The realization weighed heavy on Brandon. Suddenly all the self-worth he thought he had – evaporated. “One night at my parents’ house, everything came to a head. All the dark thoughts about who I was and the choices I made that got me nowhere hit me all at once. I started crying and screaming, just full of self-loathing. I punched a hole in the wall like an angry 12-year-old.” After unsuccessfully trying to calm Brandon down, his aunt called the police. Brandon’s father set to work calling 25 different recovery centers looking for help for his son – but only one responded – the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

It was here – and thanks to friends like you! – that Brandon found what he had been looking for his whole life. “I always knew there was something bigger, a higher power of some sort, but I just couldn’t grasp it. I’m blessed today because now I know who God is and that He’s given me a hope and a future.” Brandon’s discovered a worth given to him by his Creator – unshakable and reliable. It’s given him a newfound confidence in who he is and a purpose. He not only graduated from our Men’s Recovery Program in August, he was hired in January as the Manager of our brand-new Mission Café!

“At the Café, you’re shoulder to shoulder with others in the program who are working though their own issues, people of all backgrounds, and suddenly you’re a team, working together to create the best quality food you can. It’s encouraging to see others take the hard road – walking ahead or beside you. That’s what the Café is. We all show up to kick butt for God’s sake, for our sake and for the sake of these hungry people!” Brandon says with a smile. It’s safe to say that, through your loving support, Brandon is no longer a rebel without a clue! He’s found a new family, a new path to walk and a hope to live by. If you’re one of those hungry people who could go for some mouth-watering, fresh Mexican cuisine – stop by, grab an enchilada, and say help to Brandon, a man who will never be the same, because you cared!