Ken’s Story

August 10, 2016

IMG_9939Ken’s descent into homelessness started at age three!

It isn’t surprising that Ken became homeless; rather it’s surprising that he survived to become the person he is today. The slow descent began when he was three – and spiraled out of control until just a few years ago.

Ken’s earliest memories are of abuse at the hands of his mother. The abuse continued through his early childhood, leaving him permanently scarred. His father, an Army drill sergeant, was unsympathetic.

At 18, Ken lost his social security card and had to apply for a new one. It was then he learned he had been adopted! His birth mother – a Korean street prostitute, sold him for a bag of rice. Ken could not fathom why a family with so little love, would adopt him. His sense of self was shaken.

After leaving home, Ken poured himself into his work to hide his pain. But the long hours eventually took their toll, and his wife took his kids and walked out on him.

Devastated from the divorce and loss of relationship with his sons, Ken found it difficult to concentrate on work. That’s when the gambling started. It was thrilling at first; it helped mask the pain of rejection and failure. The excitement soon wore off, but the gambling didn’t stop. That’s when Ken realized he was hopelessly addicted.

It didn’t take long for him to lose everything – his house, his car, his job; he had nothing. Even his family abandoned him. Sleeping on the streets, he intentionally committed a crime to get attention, hoping someone would reach out to help him – only to end up being sentenced for a felony.

Finally, Ken became suicidal. In fact, he tried to kill himself on five separate occasions before he showed up at our doors!

Shortly after, he decided to give our New Life Program a try. He knew he wanted to live, and he knew he wanted to be free of his addiction. So he worked hard at the program for a little over a year. And in August of 2012, he graduated . . . just like 15 more people will be doing next month!

From Homeless and Suicidal… to accomplished businessman!

Ken didn’t stop there. After reconciling with his sons, and through a lot more hard work, he has established the father-son business he always dreamed of!

Today, he and his son have an auto detailing and washing business that services several new auto dealerships right here in Pierce County! And as a successful local businessman, he gives back to the Mission, both by hiring other graduates, and by teaching classes in the Mission in his “spare” time.

This is the type of miracle that happens every day here at the Mission because people like you continue to partner with us.

“I would love to tell the donors that they’re amazing. I just can’t believe the heart that people have.Thank you from myself and the Mission!”