Mared had a successful career, a beautiful family and a bright future before him – but he was harboring a secret. “I’d been smoking weed since I was 15. It was a daily habit, like people drinking coffee.”
Then Mared was in a minor, work-related accident and a required drug test revealed his secret. “The company paid for drug rehab and said I could come back at the same pay, but my pride didn’t allow me to go back,” he says. “It was downhill from there. I lost my job and my marriage dissolved.”
Still Mared continued using and, within a year, found himself homeless.
It was then Mared came to Long Beach Rescue Mission, staying in Samaritan House at night, and working temp jobs during the day. “One of the guys kept telling me I should do the program and I finally said, ‘What do I have to lose?’”
In our New Life Program, Mared read Scripture for the first time. “I was brought up a Baptist but I’d never read the Bible,” he says. “It’s a tough read. What made it easier for me was there are so many living examples at the Mission of how Christians should be.”
Mared now has a burgeoning relationship with the Lord, and his family relationships have been restored, as well. “My son and my ex have even come down here and volunteered at the cold-weather shelter,” he says.
Unfortunately, Mared’s mother passed away after he completed the program. But he relies on the grace of God and knows he’ll see her again one day.
Today, Mared is in our transitional Bridge Program and recently moved into his own apartment. He works at Costco and as a Lyft driver, saving money for the future. Before, he would have to bike everywhere. But thanks to his job with Lyft, he now owns a car and can commute easily! He is grateful to have work and a stable life. “The Mission saved my life,” he says. “This place is a godsend.”
To read the rest of this issue of Rescue Review, click here.
Help more people like Mared…
Mared's story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our long-term recovery programs exist to help other men, women and children in the greater Long Beach area find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?