Growing up, Calvin didn’t feel like he mattered. Instead of feeling cared for, he experienced hurt.
“My stepfather was an alcoholic. He was on drugs. He was just very mean,” Calvin shares.
By the time he was a teenager, the hurt was too much to bear. The only relief he felt was when he was drunk or high.
“It took all my pain away,” Calvin painfully remembers. It made me think outside of what was going on with me as a child. So, boom . . . At 16 years old, I was hooked.”
Over the years, Calvin was able to get off drugs but always kept drinking.
When his neighbors enticed him with drugs again, he fell back into addiction, and he fell hard.
He ended up on the streets, sleeping in a cold, damp tent.
“Being homeless in the dead of winter is really hard. You just can’t stay warm. Can’t stay dry,” Calvin explains.
He needed help. But didn’t know where to find it.
One night, our Search & Rescue street ministry team pulled up to where Calvin was camping.
They gave him warm socks, a hat, and a blanket.
“I felt so comforted. They did more than give me essentials to keep warm, they made me feel important again. And told me if I needed anything, to call,” Calvin emotionally shares.
That first encounter with our Search & Rescue team planted a seed. Although Calvin wasn’t ready to go with them back to our shelter that night, he felt a renewed sense of hope. That there was a way for him to escape the streets.
A week later, Calvin was finally ready to take steps toward a new life.
So, he threw his backpack over his shoulder and started walking to where Search & Rescue had told him he could find help.
“I walked from Fife all the way to the Tacoma Rescue Mission,” Calvin shares.
He arrived around 2:00 a.m. Our Men’s Shelter staff invited him in, gave him a hot meal and a warm bed to sleep in.
From there, Calvin got connected to our New Life Recovery Program. He’s since gotten sober, has a renewed faith in Jesus, is working on an electrical certification and is loving life.
“I feel like the program has given me a new perspective on life. . . The tools that they give us and show us, tools that we get to utilize every day after this program to live a better life, it’s priceless,” Calvin shares.
Calvin is living a whole new life. He knows where he would be without Search & Rescue and the generous support of friends like you.
“If not for Search & Rescue, I would have gone deeper into my addiction. And further into homelessness,” Calvin says.
“Search & Rescue is essential. There are people out there that are cold, hungry and walking around with freezing, hurting feet because they can’t rest or change into a dry pair of socks. Search &Rescue delivers the essentials that people on the street need for survival that they aren’t getting from anywhere else.”