A high school baseball star from a broken home
Art’s parents divorced when he was a kid, growing up in Seatac in the 60’s. His dad wasn’t around, and while he excelled athletically, the lack of guidance in his house made it easier for him to slip into the wrong crowd.
He started partying, and smoking weed his junior year of high school. Then he broke his leg. Just like that, his dreams of a college baseball scholarship were dashed.
Though he was deep in the party scene, Art graduated and got a job in tooling.
Taking a harder hit
During the cocaine craze of the 80’s, Art’s marijuana and drinking gave way to heavier addiction. It took him several years, and the loss of a steady job, before he recognized he had a problem.
From Superdad to Deadbeat
Art attended alcoholics anonymous and enjoyed a 17-year stretch sober. He built a family with his steady girlfriend. They had three children. Art coached little league, and was asked to head the neighborhood coalition.
But all this changed when Art’s girlfriend experienced a life-threatening brain aneurism. She survived – but the temptation of addiction had re-entered Art’s life in the form of pain pills.
What started as just a few to ease the stress of caring for a sick loved one, quickly grew worse. Soon, Art’s girlfriend left him, taking his three children with her. Untethered, Art entered full-blown relapse.
A Divine Encounter in a Starbucks
In the span of a year, Art lost everything. His family, job, house – all were gone.
He found himself wandering the streets on November 3rd of 2013, physically and mentally exhausted. He hadn’t eaten for days.
Though Art had never begged for food in his life, he was desperate. The staff offered him a few donuts. While he ate them, he overheard two women at a table nearby. He couldn’t hear much, but he caught “wisdom” and “God”.
When they got up to leave, Art asked what they did for a living. They said, “We’re missionaries for Jesus Christ.” He broke down crying.
New hope and a new life
Those women offered Art a ride to the Mission. After a week’s stay in the emergency shelter, he entered our addiction recovery program. He graduated 9 months later.
Today, Art has rebuilt trusting relationships with his family. He is attending Tacoma Community College. He considers himself, “…a very fortunate recipient of God’s grace.”
Life Transformation Starts with a meal
When a man like Art comes to the Mission for a meal and a safe place to sleep, they are offered resources that can get them off the streets for good.