A support worker is sharing his story as New Life Community sounds the call for its annual Thanksgiving Campaign.
“We’re launching our annual Thanksgiving Campaign and we need help from our community,” said Stan Dueck, executive director of New Life Community (formerly New Life Mission).
“This year, one of our support workers has stepped forward to share his story of hope and thanksgiving with us to help our community understand why New Life Community’s services and support are lifesaving. His name is Paul. He was once homeless, but has really turned his life around and is now helping others do the same.”
Paul, now 62 years old and working at New Life Community, once lived under a bridge in San Diego for six years.
“I grew up in a great home, am the son of a U.S. Air Force officer and I had a good life,” he said.
But drugs and alcohol got a hold of him and his life was spiralling out of control.
“I hit rock bottom and by the time I decided I needed help, 10 years had gone by. I just wanted the world to leave me alone. After being arrested yet again, I asked the judge to send me to rehab because if she didn’t, I know I would have died on the streets. I was only 42 at the time and I had had enough – I wanted to change."
He’s been clean for 18 years and feels that, now, he is finally living the life he’d intended.
“I love what I do at New Life Community,” he said. “I come in an hour early before every shift to donate my time because this place runs on donations and it’s my way of giving back.”
By sharing his story, he hopes to inspire support from the community for the campaign.
I’m telling my story with the hope to inspire our community to show their support of the New Life Community this Thanksgiving. The organization does so much to help so many in our community, people like me who are now living their best lives.”
The charity is grateful for all donations —frozen turkeys, monetary donations or volunteer time — and says every bit helps.
“Now that the outreach centre is open seven days a week, providing nutritious meals and other essential life enriching services, our costs have increased significantly,” Dueck said. “Your support means we can continue the work we do to help those who are hungry, homeless, or hurting in our community giving hope and changing lives.”