Robert entered the Marine Corps straight out of high school and served three years at Camp Pendleton. Things didn’t go so well for him. He had started doing drugs when he was just 11 years old. When he joined the Marines, he brought his problems with him— and he was discharged with them.
He spent his twenties in and out of prison. In between, he slept on friends’ couches, in their cars, in a neighbor’s RV. He couldn’t keep a steady job for long.
Four years ago, Robert left prison again and entered and graduated from a Christian residential recovery program. And there, he gave his life to Christ. But along the way, he fell in love with Katie. Katie had her own set of problems. She was deep in addiction.
Robert struggled to keep clean, but a hard layoff for an injury broke his fragile resolve. Desperate for hope, he turned back to what had always made him feel better — drugs.
While Robert was losing his apartment, Katie had resorted to living in her car. They stayed there together, sleeping in the front seat, the back seat filled with their possessions.
Overcome now by poverty and hunger, weary and broken from withdrawals from drugs, Robert and Katie reached the breaking point together. They begged for spare change for food.
“Katie was so skinny and looked so unhealthy I spent whatever money I had for her,” says Robert.
“He would go 3 or 4 days without eating so I could eat and gain weight,” says Katie. In the middle of their misery, Robert and Katie were thrown a lifeline: an opportunity to come to the Village of Hope and get the help they needed.
Refreshed with hope for the first time, they sold Katie’s car so they would have enough money to get married and come to the Village of Hope together.
Now, a year and a half later, Robert and Katie have a new life! They’ve had nutritious food to eat and a safe place to live, grow, recover and receive counseling to get them on the right track with God and each other.
Robert just graduated from training to be a machinist and has a new, rewarding career. And Katie has found great work as an administrative assistant.
Best of all, they’re grateful for their renewed relationship with God. They’re a part of the church at the Mission and now Robert has found a way to use his military experience to give back to the community. He reaches out with us to other veterans who are homeless. “Being out there talking to other veterans that are homeless, it helps that I’ve been where they were and I can understand them,” says Robert. “I know what it’s like to have pride and yet be hungry and out on the streets. It helps to earn their trust, and to get them the help they need so that they can turn their life around for good.”
It’s exciting to see the transformation that has taken place in Robert and Katie’s lives. You’re a blessing to them and to every man, woman and child at the Mission.