MikeHeroin stopped his heart twice. Now he’s using that heart to help rescue others.
Heroin stopped Mike's heart twice. Now he helps others.
Lives are at risk
Mike calls out into the darkness with, “Seattle's Union Gospel Mission — Search & Rescue,” to announce the presence of our outreach team. He waits, listening eagerly for any sign of life, while the beam of his flashlight exposes a wall of tents shuddering in the biting wind.
The view sends a chill shivering down his spine. Mike suddenly recalls his own drug-induced dance with death, his wife walking out on him, and the gnawing hunger on the streets...
“It was cold. I had a tank top and shorts. No blanket, no cardboard, sleeping on the cement. I'd steal to eat. I nearly died from bad heroin and was rushed to the hospital. My heart stopped twice. All I could think was — there's got to be more to life than this,” says Mike.
For homeless people, like Mike once was, winter in the Puget Sound area means a fight for survival from the cold and wet — whether you're staying in a tent, under a bridge, or in an alley. Because of the constant dampness, it can be impossible to get warm for months. The sleeplessness and hunger take a toll. It's life on the edge. It's a recipe for deadly hypothermia.
Not only do they distribute practical, lifesaving supplies, but they're manned by people who care and build trust with our homeless neighbors. Because you make it possible, we can offer help to anyone in need. Every person is one of God's children and deserves a second chance.
Mike thanks God for his second chance
After surviving his duel with death, Mike enrolled in our recovery program. Today, Mike is a program graduate and has reconnected with his family. He even completed the Mission's second year discipleship program, and on these cold winter nights you can find him on Search & Rescue, fueled by his newfound passion for God.
“I tell my friends on the street to stick with it. You never know when God's going to grab you. If you're not seeking him, don't worry. He's going to find you. He found me. He's not lost, we are. And we've got to remember that,” shares Mike.