“I started using weed when I was 16,” Jesse remembers. “My dad hurt his back and was taking OxyContin. He shared them with me and my addiction kind of went from there.”

“I don’t think he was trying to hurt me,” Jesse says today. “Being on those pills makes you feel good. I really think he was trying to get closer to me by being a good friend, but he wasn’t being a good father.”

Jesse’s use of drugs and alcohol finally led him to sleep on the streets of Kansas City until his sister found Shelter KC and Jesse found a new way of life. “To be honest, the first time, I was just doing the program to make myself look good. I didn’t take everything it had to offer me.”

Eight years later, now married with a son, Jesse started drinking again.

“Things just gradually started getting out of control,” he remembers. “I started drinking on the weekends. Then it got to where I was drinking during the weekdays. Then I’d get hung over, or I’d drink that day and call in sick. I lost several jobs doing that. I think my wife finally said, ‘Enough is enough.’ She took our kid and moved to North Carolina.”

When Jesse hit rock bottom, he came back to where he knew there was help.

“This place gives you a second chance if you really want to do it and get back on your feet.”

“I came here because it’s a Christian-based community. There’s more to life than drugs and alcohol, and Shelter KC gives you that.”

Jesse now has a place of his own and is working in construction. He eventually plans to move to northern California to live near his sister.

“She has a house there with a spare bedroom. I talk with her every day. We have a great relationship. She’s willing to give me that second chance like this place has given me a second chance.”

“This place taught me better. I’ve learned a lot more about the Lord. I really couldn’t deal with all this stuff on my own on the outside. This place really opens your spirit and brings you out of your other life. God can help you get through it.”

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