Tommie grew up in a good family but rebelled at a young age against the strict rules his father had set. 

“I didn’t like rules,” he remembers. “My dad was an officer in the Navy. He was a tough dude, and I wasn’t having that.” 

“I had a good family. They’re good people, but I didn’t take that path, and I paid the price.” 

He started using drugs when he was just 12 and left home at 16. 

“I’ve been all over this country and in and out of prison my whole life,” he says. Eventually settling in Kansas City, Tommie continued to struggle with drugs despite a friend’s urging to come to Shelter KC. 

“I had a buddy who was at Shelter KC, and he was like, ‘Man, Tom, you’re really doing bad.’ He kept seeing me go deeper and deeper. He kept coaxing me to come here, but I kept turning him down.” 

Finally, one snowy day, the struggle became too much. 

“I’d always avoided places like this,” Tommie says. “But I was exhausted and at my wit’s end.” 

“My sister got me here, and I never looked back.” 

Tommie went on to graduate from our long-term recovery program for men. For a long time after leaving, he volunteered once a week at Shelter KC by encouraging other men in the program. 

“Every morning now I get up and have my devotional. I continue to read God’s word and stay steady on the path, and my life’s been getting nothing but better. I have a great job now. I got a house. My worst days now are nothing like before I walked through these doors. Because of this place, my life has been getting better day by day.” 

“The people here gave me the right tools, and I just keep building on that.” 

Thank you for giving people like Tommie a new start in life! 

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