Steve’s got an awesome voice, this picture doesn’t do that justice.
Today I met a very kind spirited and humble man amongst the many that reside here at the OCRM. His name is Steve Johnston he is fifty-four years old and could not be more amazed by the Mission and what it already has done for him his first ten days as a resident. “I like it very much,” he says, “I didn’t know a place like this existed.” I agreed with him on the spot. He went on to say, “I doubt there is another place like it in Orange county or Los Angelos.” He has been received openly by everyone and accommodated medically within the first week. He says the staff facilitates a “user friendly atmosphere, my case manager is prompt to be of service, even the other case managers help me get what I need.” When I asked him what he’s looking to receive from being a part of the Mission he did not hesitate in answering, “A chance to start over. System reset. Put alcohol behind me and become a help to others.” Turns out Steve and I have a similar desire to reach out and give back to those in need of food, clothes, and hope.
Steve has had trouble in the past when drinking began to rear its destructive nature at thirty years old. Trying to balance a job and a bad habit quickly became a losing battle when he could not keep it a secret from his employers. Twelve years ago he entered the Mission when it was just an emergency shelter in Santa Ana. For exchange of room and board Steve cleaned and cooked for the fellow lost men of the world and it was then I imagine the seed was planted for his dreams of one day giving back. It was at that mission he accepted Jesus, but the short length of time he was able to spend before going back into the world was not enough. Soon after Steve stopped attending church and became lost to God as quickly as he found Him. Steve remembered when being in the company of other Christians he never thought about drinking. “When I formed my own path that’s when I ran into trouble.” After leaving Steve became an Annuity Specialist and again the chain repeated itself of balancing a bad drinking habit with a job. When he was laid off alcohol got the better of him. Briefly homeless, Steve knew the horrors of alcohol can be as dire as any other addiction people suffer daily. Now that he is back on the right track thanks to God and the OCRM Steve gets to press that reset button, and now hopes to further his education online in order to find stability in a career of office work. I see Steve making it because he is another soul searching for a new way of life, and because of God and the Mission that’s exactly what he will find.