Mike's Story

“I knew, there's got to be more to life than this.”


Heroin stopped his heart twice. Now he’s using that heart to help rescue others.

Mike's story of transformation



“Union Gospel Mission Search & Rescue,” Mike calls out into the hungry darkness — announcing the presence of his Search & Rescue 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 sent a chill shivering down his spine that had nothing to do with the damp, cold air — as Mike suddenly recalled his own drug-induced dance with death —

  • His wife walking out on him ...
  • The drugs he depended on to deaden the pain ...
  • Crushing Pacific Northwest cold ...
  • A gnawing hunger ...

“There's got to be more to life than this.”

Mike says, “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.

For people like Mike, fall in the Puget Sound area mean a fight to survive 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.

These horrific conditions are why our Mission's Search & Rescue Vans are out at night, reaching out to homeless people throughout King County.

Not only do they distribute practical, lifesaving supplies, but they're manned by people who care. 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. 

“I tell my friends on the street to stick with it.”

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's now enrolled in the Mission's second year discipleship program, and on these cold fall nights you can find him on Search & Rescue, fueled by his newfound passion for God.

Mike says, “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.”

Lives at risk this fall.

But this fall, more homeless men and women are trapped on the streets in King County. For many, nothing but shredded nylon stands between them and the cold. 

That's why your support to provide essentials for survival is so important!


Every $2.21 you give today can help save a life. 

Cold-weather months in King County can be deadly for homeless men, women and children. But for $2.21 you can help save lives by delivering items like a blanket, a warm coat and hat, dry socks and underwear, hot chocolate and a loving invite back to shelter. 

Give now to help reach people like Mike with lifesaving cold-weather essentials.
Each $2.21 will help save a life this fall season.



Here are a couple of ways you can make a big difference!

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