Andrew and Bill met in early March at a local detox facility. Their stories were somewhat different, but their personal testimonies had a familiar ring. Both were physically ill and their bodies were worn from years of alcoholism; each had lost everything to their drinking. They were completely broke with no job and no place to call home.
Andrew and Bill arrived at Guiding Light within a week of each other, each hoping to build a better life through the Back to Work program. “All I want is to get back to work,” explains Bill in a quiet, but matter-of-fact tone. “I want to work and take care of myself again.”
The Guiding Light Back to Work program requires men to find employment within 30 days. Staff walk beside them and provide the necessary resources they need, but the men are hitting the pavement immediately, looking for work. Andrew was hired full-time within 24 hours and Bill was working at a distribution center within five days. “We were told that as long as we follow the rules, this program works,” exclaims Andrew. “It’s true!”
Tony, our Back to Work Case Manager, made a lasting impression on both gentlemen. Every morning, all the Back to Work residents meet for Morning Devotion before breakfast with Tony. “He is hands-on every day, keeping us accountable,” adds Andrew. Tony helped both Andrew and Bill create actionable steps to prepare for when they leave Guiding Light. Each man is learning skills to sustain his employment, live within his means and continue to make positive choices, which includes living a sober life and a personal relationship with God.
Labor Day Weekend, both Andrew and Bill signed leases to their own apartments. Andrew has also worked to reinstate his driver’s license and purchased a car for $600. “The Lord has been blessing me. I get to go to work. I pray every day. Being homeless then coming to Guiding Light has really brought me back to the Lord,” says Andrew. “God said ‘Go to work’, and I did.”
We asked Bill what he thinks his life would be like if he hadn’t come to Guiding Light. “I am very thankful for Guiding Light. Without Guiding Light, I would be a loser, picking up cans for some money. I’d be sleeping under a bridge and drinking every day just to deal with that kind of living. I want to stay working. I want to stay sober. I want to stay in my new apartment. And maybe one day I will meet a nice lady.”
Andrew adds, “We need to remain diligent to the Lord. I will see what He has planned for me next. But I do feel a call to come back to Guiding Light and volunteer.”
When men hit bottom and are ready to ask for help, they can come to Guiding Light and stay free of charge. They begin to re-build their lives. As a loyal friend and financial supporter, you are giving these men a hand up and saving their lives. In 2018, over 1000 individuals have secured full-time employment through Guiding Light programming. With your support, we can help another 1000, just like Andrew and Bill, off the street and on a payroll.
THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE WHO BELONGS TO CHRIST HAS BECOME A NEW PERSON. THE OLD LIFE IS GONE; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17