Meet Aaron

“My biological parents were crack addicts. They gave me, and my brother and sister, to their dealers because we were all they had to barter with. I was beat, shot, stabbed, raped, molested, set on fire until I was 7 years old. It bothered me at first, what I’ve been through, but because of all that, a family friend, who I call my grandpa, decided to raise me to have the faith that I have today in God and if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be who I am today. 

I don’t see what I’ve been through as a crutch, I don't see it as an excuse. I’ve never done drugs. I’m probably the only one you’ll meet that doesn’t do drugs.

Five kids later, still I’m homeless, but at least I have a roof over my head, somewhere warm at night, and a place to lay my head. Not everybody gets to do that. I’ve found a peace here. I’m in a better place with the mother of my kids, and I’m going to see them as soon as I come up with enough money.”

Ryan Stillwater

Ryan is a longtime Visalian — a graduate of Redwood High School and Fresno Pacific University with a bachelors degree in Christian Ministries. Intrigued by the partnership between the Visalia Rescue Mission and the City of Visalia, Ryan began putting his vision on paper as VRM's Oval Venue Coordinator in August 2013, and has sparked the interest of many throughout the community. Ryan and his wife Amy (a Mt. Whitney High School graduate) have been married for seven years and have three amazing kids — ages 6, 4, and 4.