Stories of Transformation: Pete

Thanks to your prayers and support, Pete experienced Hope for the Holidays for the first time in years…

When Pete was growing up, life was centered around family. His home was full of love, and the holidays were joyful.

But there were complications, too, and Pete fell in with the wrong crowd when he was a teenager. He started partying, got into drugs, and suffered through years of addiction and homelessness. His behavior caused an extreme rift with his family. “At Thanksgiving, they wouldn’t let me inside,” Pete recalls. “My mom would make a plate of food and tell me to leave.”

Eventually, Pete moved to Mexico, quickly fell in with the wrong crowd again and resumed using. This lasted until his early 30s. At that point, he says, “I was so fed up with myself I moved to New Mexico to start over. I found a good job, got married, and got clean.”

Life was looking up … until, on a bad day, Pete relapsed. “Within six months, I lost my job, wife, cars, everything. I ended up right back on the streets.”

With nothing left, Pete moved back to Phoenix hoping to reconnect with his family. “I would see my sister, and she would just break down crying . . . It was just the hurt and pain they saw in my eyes. And being an addict, I could not go home. So, I lived on the streets,” he continues, shaking his head. “I spent almost four years out there. It was misery after misery, a horrible way to live. I was eating out of dumpsters, waking up with ants crawling over me. I believed I was worth nothing.”

“When I walked through
the gates, I felt so relieved,” he says. “I felt welcomed and like I mattered.”

Pete, and every recovery client at Phoenix Rescue Mission, goes through Workforce Development classes where our team helps them plan for their future and receive education, tutoring, job search assistance, and more.

Reuniting With His Family

At rock bottom, Pete finally turned to Phoenix Rescue Mission. “When I walked through the gates, I felt so relieved,” he says. “I felt welcomed and like I mattered. Here, I found Christ and restored my morals and values. I learned to accept myself, to love myself again. My relationships with my family are restored, and they allowed me to come home again.”

Last Christmas, Pete celebrated the holiday with his family for the first time in years. “Everybody was there,” he recalls. “When they started opening presents, my mom took me to another room filled with gifts. Every year I was gone, my family bought me presents. My mom saved them all, waiting for me to come to my senses and rejoin the family. It was overwhelming.

My brother hugged me and hugged me, and I sat there crying.”

As a donor, that’s what your gifts are all about — bringing healing and redemption to the most “hopeless” cases and restoring our community. “I’m very grateful,” Pete says. “If it wasn’t for their donations, I wouldn’t be able to rejoin my family. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Pete helps plan and prepare meals for about 200 men in recovery at the Transforming Lives Center each day.

Thanks to your faithful prayers and support, Pete is no longer estranged from his family. This Christmas, their home will once again be filled with love and joy.