Dean's Story

Dean's Story
“My first meal here more than filled me up. It felt like it just went to my bones.”


Dean couldn't sleep. It was winter in Seattle and he was underdressed for the near-freezing temperatures. When the rain and wind hit, he sought refuge under a bridge. And so did the rats.


“I had a great job, but most of what I earned went to my addiction. Eventually, I lost everything.”

Dean found the love and motivation he needed to start a new life through the recovery program at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

“I was born and raised in Vietnam. My mom put me on one of the last helicopters leaving Saigon at the end of the war. It caused me a lot of pain. When I got to America, I didn’t even know my own name. The worst part was I forgot my mother’s name. For years, I tried to cover those feelings with drugs and alcohol.”

Although Dean had a well-paying job, most of his income was spent on feeding his addictions.

“Even with all that money, I just felt so miserable. Eventually, I lost it all. I never thought I’d be homeless, but I was. I just remember praying and asking God to really come into my life. That’s how I found the recovery program at the Mission.”

Today, Dean oversees all the kitchens and food service operations at the Mission. A graduate of the Men’s Recovery Program, he’s been living a life free of drugs and alcohol for four years.

“I’m passionate about touching people through the meals we serve. Every day I try to connect with somebody in a positive, uplifting way. I want to share the gospel through my actions. I want to extend the love and gratitude I feel to others.”

“There are times in the kitchen I just cry because I know what the guys in line are feeling. It’s amazing what a simple meal can do to for a person when they’re hungry.”


Dean is grateful for your support. Thanks to you, he has found hope and a new life.

Monthly donations provide full care and lasting change for others just like Dean.

Thanks to committed monthly donors, the Mission is able to help the lost become found.



Help the lost become found

Your gift today helps those who've lost their way find the love and support they need for a new life.