Tonight in Bakersfield, many of our neighbors will go to bed hungry, homeless and hopeless.
Kevin loved being around people. He was energized and thrived in their company. But in his early 20s, he began using drugs to cope with his stress and it changed him.
“Something would go awry in my life. I’d use and I’d become a hermit, a loner,” he says. “I’d hide as long as I could, until I hit rock bottom. Then I’d start my recovery all over again. It destroyed my relationships.”
Then, in his late 20s, Kevin gave his life to Christ, got clean and eventually married. Life was good. But when his marriage fell apart after years of being clean, he relapsed and lost everything. “I found myself living in hotels and on the streets,” he says. “I was desperate.” It was then that a friend who’d graduated from our Christian Life Training Discipleship Program referred Kevin to the Mission.
As the homeless population in Bakersfield continues to rise, we’re here to keep him and so many others like him off the streets. “Everybody here is about hope and love. Before I got here, I didn’t have that,” he says. “It’s been a game changer for me.”
Through our program’s Bible studies, counseling, mentoring and life-skills classes, Kevin has healed emotionally and grown spiritually. “The foundation of who I am has changed,” he says. “God has done a true excavation of my heart. He has restored me.”
Kevin has graduated from the program and stays in our transitional housing. He is part of our Kitchen Staff which feeds over 200,000 meals each and every year. “God has given me new purpose,” he says. “I have a calling to be a part of people’s lives and see them bear the fruit of God.”