Restoring Hope, Finding Purpose

When Greg’s family moved to a new city right before his junior year, being the new kid in school wasn’t a problem for him. “I played baseball, I drank beer and I smoked pot,” he says. “So I fit in with lots of crowds.”

His drinking escalated when he went to college, and he dropped out. He entered the world of sales – cars, copiers, software – and was good at it. Sadly, however, alcohol and drugs remained the focus of his life. “When my friends were moving on, having families, buying houses, building careers, I was still acting like a teenager,” he shares.

He tried a variety of treatment programs, eight in all, but his sobriety never lasted. He began to lose hope he’d ever build a meaningful life. After the death of a friend drove him into a deep despair, he turned to Bridgeport Rescue Mission.

“I’ve been to ‘country club’ rehabs and state rehabs and it doesn’t matter what the surroundings are. It matters who the people are,” he explains, referring to the compassionate staff of our New Life Program who helped rekindle his faith and guided his work therapy. Working assignments in the kitchen, greeting guests at the front desk and even mowing the grass renewed his self-worth and made him feel productive. And serving hungry neighbors from our Mobile Kitchen gave him a sense of satisfaction he’d never known. “Those people have so little, and it made me realize how important a meal is… how important a smile is,” he says.

Greg graduated from our New Life Program in December and will soon celebrate one year of sobriety. Today he’s married, working full time and saving money so he and his wife can buy a home. He continues to attend church and AA meetings regularly.

“I have an incredible amount of gratitude for the Mission and everything they’ve done for me,” he shares. “The people, the programs – they changed my life.”

To read the rest of the Summer issue of Rescue Mission News, click here.