Paulo is a Homeless Advocate at the Visalia Rescue Mission. His life hasn’t always looked the way it does now.
“My life was a total wreck. I was an alcoholic and an addict.” While he knew God’s hand was still on him, he also knew he needed help to change. Pieces of his life began to fall away — he lost his trucking business and started losing his family. In a gang-related chase, he was drinking and driving and lost his license.
Paulo’s fifteen year old son had wanted him to change, to serve God with him. Unfortunately it took his death for Paulo to cry out to God. Homeless, he knelt at the corner of Bridge Street here in Visalia and asked God to lead him somewhere. He found our overnight shelter and stayed for about four months before even thinking about entering the Life Change Academy.
The men he met that first night he pulled up to VRM said, “This is where God is,” and Paulo knew he was in the right place.
Yet it wasn’t always easy. The desire to start using again was so strong and after just a week in the Academy he almost left. Thankfully, the group of guys he’d met cared about him so much they convinced him to stay. They reminded him he was doing what was best; that no drug could give what he’d been looking for.
Today, Paulo is clean and sober. He has worked for VRM for almost four years. He got his driver’s license back after nearly five years and now has a car of his own. Most importantly, he has learned to love others with similar stories and has experienced hope he can share with those he now works with on a daily basis. He hasn’t forgotten where he came from, but he’s excited about where he’s going.
“God is awesome; He has been really good to me. Blessing me with great co-workers that support me. Thank you and everyone else for caring about me…I love you all.”
We love you, too, Paulo.