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A Weary Heart Rejoices

Charles was devastated when he lost his mom to alcoholism... but even that wouldn’t be the wake-up call he needed to find help for his own addiction. 

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After Charles’ mom passed away, his dad got cancer. Charles became his full-time, live-in caregiver. As his dad started to get better, Charles planned to live on his own again.

However, his decision to move out didn’t go over well with his brother. An argument between them escalated, landing Charles in jail for four months. During that time, his father passed away. 

Charles was released from jail in a state of mourning. Grieving and alone, he became homeless, using alcohol to numb the pain. “Eventually I just drank myself to the point where I needed help.” 

He tried secular, sober-living houses but found that, “It’s every man for himself… they don’t care what you do.”

Winter came, and while most people were snuggled in their homes, Charles was on the streets of the Valley, spiraling downward. One day, he woke up in the hospital and couldn’t remember how he’d gotten there. It was then he realized, “This could kill me.” Finally ready to admit he needed help to change, Charles called the Mission. “This time I was ready… I wanted to get clean.” This new perspective made all the difference. 

At first, Charles said, "It's amazing just to have food in your stomach and a place to clean up." 

But his self-esteem really started to grow through the compassion of the staff and learning about God’s grace in our long-term recovery program. “I’m learning a lot more about theology – a more in-depth look at the Bible.” He says he’s developing people skills too. 

“Before, I was sitting in a park talking to myself just to hear my own voice because I had NO ONE TO TALK TO.” 

Today, Charles wants to work full-time for the Mission because he says, “I like being on the other side of the gate – helping people out.” His wake-up call didn’t come when both his parents passed away, but it happened at the Mission because of the love and support he’s received. “They’re all my brothers,” he says of the new family he has found here. 

When he sees his life today, Charles is thrilled by his transformation thanks to God’s love in his life – and your support. “God bless Hope of the Valley.” “It’s AMAZING just to have food in your stomach and a place to clean up.”

To read the rest of the issue of Sharing Hope, click here.