After his sister died, Richard couldn’t afford to stay in the house they’d lived in together. So at 65 years old, he found himself homeless. Not knowing where to go and having no one left to turn to.
He was forced to live on the streets. Desperate to find some kind of shelter from the bitter cold and freezing rain.
The only safe refuge he found was under a parked semi-truck. Richard spent the next few nights there knowing that he wouldn’t be able to survive out in the harsh elements much longer.
“I was sick and really hungry too. I really thought I was dying,”he painfully remembers. “I said to myself, ‘I’ve caught something. I’m dying from it. I’ve got to get out of here.'”
He did need to get out of there. To get out of the bone-chilling cold and off the dangerous, wet pavement. And find something to eat. Richard needed help before it was too late.
Thankfully, Richard found the Tacoma Rescue Mission just in time.
“I had walking pneumonia,” he explains. “I came down here to try and get off the streets and get some food in me. I was in bad shape.”
If he hadn’t come to us when he did, he may not be alive today.
“Without this place being here, I would be dead,” he shares. “I had a warm bed and I knew I’d be able to eat every night.”
While at the Mission, Richard was connected with other essential services and resources.
“The good people at the Mission helped me get to a doctor,” Richard explains. “They also helped me get my ID. You can’t do anything without an ID. And they helped me get connected with my social security benefits.”
All this — and more — equipped Richard to overcome barriers that kept him on the streets. Encouraged and empowered, he was able to rebuild his life. Most importantly, his faith in God was strengthened. All because caring partners like you made it possible for him to be helped when he needed it most.
Richard shared his faith with guests, volunteers and staff during his time at the Mission. Using every opportunity he could to share God’s love with others. In fact, his nickname at our shelter was “Preacher.”
Richard was with us for several months as he healed and got the support and resources he needed to get back on his feet.
Soon after, he was able to move into permanent housing. Richard is grateful to have a place to call home again.
The generousity of compassionate friends like you made it all possible. Richard knows first-hand the difference your gifts can make in someone’s life. He lived it!
“This is a fantastic, life-saving place. It saved my life,” Richard gratefully shares. “God is here. And as long as God’s here, it’s worth every penny you can give.”