Renewal Story: Joe

Posted: August 25, 2020

When Joe arrived at Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County, he only intended to stay as an overnight guest. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic reached Fort Worth and UGM-TC locked down, he decided to stay and joined the Men’s Program. “I had to keep moving forward,” he explains.

To move forward, Joe had to leave a lot of pain behind – the death of his infant son, the end of his marriage and an addiction to prescription drugs and heroin.

After his divorce, Joe moved in with a friend who later went to jail. “I wasn’t able to stay in the apartment because I wasn’t on the lease,” Joe explains. “I only had to sleep on the street a few nights, but it was uncomfortable.”

At UGM-TC, even in the midst of the pandemic, Joe found the peace and stability he had been looking for. Classes in sobriety, financial management, and our Skill Building Program put Joe on the path to self-sufficiency. “The mentors like me and give me a lot of responsibility,” he says. “I volunteer in the kitchen and the laundry room, anywhere they need me.”

Joe also spends as much time as he can in chapel. “When I lost my son, it was catastrophic. I rejected God,” he admits. “Coming to the Mission renewed my faith. Father Andy is a wonderful mentor. He has taught me a lot!”

With an MBA, an impressive job history in retail management and certification as a sous-chef, Joe is clearly an exceptional learner – and he wants to learn more! He plans to go back to school and become a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. “My goal is mental healing for myself and others. The more I learn, the more I heal, the more I can help someone else.”

Joe is grateful for the help you gave him at UGM-TC. “This place saved my life. It gave me a foundation, building blocks for a more stable life,” he says. “I see a lot of gentlemen this program has helped. I have a group of friends, and we can sit and discuss our lives, our feelings, if something is bothering us. I found a brotherhood here.”

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