Ivan lost everything he had and became homeless. But with his faith restored and life rebuilt, he plans to finish his college education and become a drug and alcohol counselor!

Ivan grew up with a father who was a “fire and brimstone” preacher. As he grew older, Ivan became more and more skeptical about the place God had in his own life, and he finally left the church in his twenties.

When Ivan began to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, his doctor prescribed medications. But nothing seemed to work. Then a friend introduced him to alcohol, and Ivan began “self-medicating.”

He progressed from an occasional beer to wine, then mixed drinks and finally straight vodka. Alcohol calmed his panic attacks, but as his consumption and tolerance level went up, his life went downhill.

“I couldn’t hold a job. I went through a divorce and was in and out of jail...and homeless.” 26 years of sobriety and relapse... “a horrible experience.”

Lonely and depressed, Ivan battled cold in the winter and dehydration in the summer. “At one point the police found me passed out and took me to the hospital. I felt hopeless, but I wasn’t ready to stop drinking. I would panhandle and get my drink for the day and just live in misery.”

Ivan found Shelter KC on New Year’s Eve 2020.

“The first 90 days gave me a lot of time to reflect. The Scripture that really spoke to me was, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength,’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ I started seeing deeper meanings in the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

Through our Gospel-based recovery program, Christian Community of Recovery (C-COR) Ivan experienced the “abundant life” Jesus offers, and that led to healing that is slowly restoring relationships with his family.

With his faith restored, Ivan now has the aptitude -- and the heart — to finish his college education and become a drug and alcohol counselor!

Thank you for making a difference in his life through your partnership!

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