Patrick Finds Faith and a Job
Patrick has been enrolled in our Back to Work program for about two months. He was born in Lansing and raised in eastern Texas. He recently moved to Grand Rapids and has been struggling for years with problems surrounding homelessness and substance abuse.
Patrick found out about Guiding Light after attending a addiction support meeting held in our facility at 255 Division Avenue. “I was here last year with the A.R.C. (Adult Rehabilitation Program) with Salvation Army and we would come here every Saturday for a good meeting.” When he heard that Guiding Light was accepting clients for Back to Work again, Patrick was one of the first to apply for admittance. “It’s a good work program. They help you find work, they house you and feed you. I’d recommend it to anyone that’s out there struggling and wants help.”
Patrick appreciates that, unlike most other work programs, Guiding Light does not take any percentage of the money a client earns while staying here. “I’ve never seen a place like this. They don’t have anything else like it out there.” He appreciates the professional and “no-nonsense” atmosphere of Guiding Light, especially when comparing it to his experiences enrolled in other programs. “It’s a clean facility, in the past I’ve been to places that are not so clean,” he said.
Clients in our Back to Work program are required to stay sober and either be looking for work or be employed full-time in order to stay at 255 Division. The social philosophy of Guiding Light is not to simply give men food and shelter, but to also provide the resources, hope, and spiritual guidance men need to pick themselves up off the ground. Instead of a revolving door, these men can become honest, contributing members of our community again.
Patrick came through our doors jobless, homeless and beaten down by his struggles with alcoholism. He will be leaving here soon, a new man, physically, mentally, and spiritually reborn (and now fully employed). “God makes it all possible, I believe that. And I want to thank y’all for helping people like me. I’ve been struggling with alcoholism for a long, long time. But I believe in my heart that this is where it’s gonna end. I’m just grateful for being here, and it’s good to be back in Michigan again.”
There are countless success stories like this of men that come through our Back to Work program every year. We do not receive any government subsidies and our social programs are entirely funded through private donations. To all of our donors, supporters, and volunteers, thank you for making it possible for men like Patrick to get a second chance at life here at Guiding Light.