04 May Nick’s Story
At age 35, Nick found himself living on a concrete slab outside of a school. Everything he owned was in a laundry basket. “I was a 96-pound methamphetamine addict. I was completely broken, completely shattered, completely without hope.”
Nick’s heartbreaking struggles began when his mom was diagnosed with HIV. He was only 14, and she passed away within a year. Due to misconceptions surrounding HIV at the time, his friends pushed him away and he ended up part of a different crowd—a crowd of poor influences.
“I spiraled out of control. I dropped out of school in 9th grade. I went from marijuana and alcohol to cocaine and methamphetamines.” Eventually he lost everything to his addiction. “It was to the point where I found myself sitting in a Chinese restaurant on Christmas alone because I had no one and nothing left in my life.”
Until he learned about Hope Ministries. Nick’s defining moment happened two weeks after he arrived at our shelter. During chapel, he heard Psalm 55:22: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
“I thought, ‘All this stuff I’ve been carrying around with me—the junk, the abandonment issues, the resentment, the sin—I don’t have to carry it with me anymore. I floated up to my bunk that night and had the greatest night of sleep I’ve had in my life to this day.”
Nick dove in to our life recovery program wholeheartedly. He completed classes and substance abuse counseling, grew in his faith and even received his high school equivalency diploma. Eventually Nick began his employment search. During one job interview, he was interviewed by a woman named Amanda . . . and today she’s his wife!
“I look at the story of Job in the Bible—he had everything and it was all taken away then given back tenfold. That’s my life to a T. God has blessed me and given me more in five years since this program than I ever had in 35 years of life before. I’m married to a wonderful woman. I have a college degree. I went from homeless to homeowner.”
And he has a job he loves . . . right here at Hope Ministries. After completing our program, Nick went on to attend college and receive his degree in Human Services. He even interned at our men’s shelter as part of his education. When a shelter case manager position opened at our Bethel Mission last fall, he jumped at the opportunity to help men the same way he’d been helped.
“My job as a case manager is to do exactly what our mission statement says—give opportunities for hope . . . the same opportunities that were given to me.”