I tried to quit a few times... would make it a few months and then fall back into it.

I've got a lot more people that are supportive around me. I have more respect for myself.

At the age of 17, Robert began drinking and smoking pot. At the age of 21, he developed a habit of drinking after a DUI conviction. The world told him he was an alcoholic, and his response was to drink as much as he could. Provoked by a mom who was always drinking and a dad who was always gone, Robert found that drugs and alcohol were the antidote to his broken family circle. 

As the years stacked up, he sank deeper into a habit that eventually stole his purpose, connection with his children, and stability. But the tide began to turn when he became desperate for change.  

“When I was waking up in one of the city parks without a jacket, freezing cold, having absolutely nothing to do with my life… I just got to my wit’s end, and I [walked] to the Mission and told them, ‘I just need to change, man,’” says Robert. 

His greatest hurdle became his greatest triumph when Robert learned that, while humans will always let us down, Jesus never will.  

“Robert now finds acceptance in Christ and has stopped putting all that undue pressure on himself—he has a lot of friends in his life who are brothers in Christ,” says New Life Fellowship Counselor Roy Morris. 

Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in? That you’ll never be enough? Sometimes these self-perceptions permeate our life outlook, our relationships, and our self-worth. For Robert, they eroded his feelings of belonging.  

Your support has changed Robert’s life. 

“I feel like I have value. I don’t feel like I have to run from anything anymore or hide who I really am,” he says.  

Graduating from the New Life Fellowship program this March, Robert’s eyes are focused on new goals, three of which are staying connected with his Christian friends and church, working in the alcohol and drug recovery field, and getting reconnected with his family.  

“As far as Robert’s future goes, his possibilities are endless. He is a very intelligent man and can achieve anything he chooses to do. I think the most exciting thing about Robert’s future is finding out where God will use him—I would not be surprised to see Robert working in the ministries,” says Morris.  

You are a part of the village needed to change lives at Union Gospel Mission of Salem, and your investment in people like Robert is changing the face of homelessness, one story at a time. Give today at

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As far back as I could remember, I’d always been confident I had everything figured out. I was the Lewis and Clark of my own experience…
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