When Richie was just 16, his father died and he began numbing his grief with alcohol. It was the beginning of a 40-year struggle with addiction that cost him jobs, destroyed his marriage, and left him homeless. “I didn’t care where I slept, what I ate, or what happened to me. I was depressed and desperate.” Then, one morning, he awakened under a boardwalk and decided to change his life. “I was sick and tired. I said, ‘I don’t want to die this way.’”

He entered Bridgeport Rescue Mission’s New Life Program, where he’s grown spiritually and healed emotionally. “Now God is directing my footsteps and I have a sense of worth.” Richie graduated from the program and works as a chef here in our Community Kitchen, ministering to those who struggle as he once did. “I was in despair, but Bridgeport Rescue Mission changed my life dramatically. Now I’m spiritually free.”