My Name is Daniel. When I was 18 my foster parents kicked me out of the house and I became homeless. I lived on the streets of Wisconsin for the next seven years, where I began to indulge heavily in drug use. Although I was already using drugs and that is the reason I was kicked out, the situation just became worse once I was on the streets.
I received a call one day from my biological brother and he began to tell me about a program in Grand Rapids, Michigan that was at the Salvation Army, so the next day I got on a bus to Grand Rapids where I enrolled in the program that they offered. I was staying at the Salvation Army for alcoholism and drugs, and I got kicked out because I relapsed, but before I left they suggested that I look into the Step-Up Recovery Program at Mel Trotter Ministries. I left the Salvation Army and continued to use for the next seven days.
But there's more to my story.
I entered the Step-Up pre-program on Feb 2, 2018 and I began my journey to sobriety. Once in Step-Up I began to learn more about my addiction and how to cope with some of my issues that drove me to use in the first place. I began to build a relationship with the pastors at Celebration Recovery and also with members of the Mel Trotter staff. Since being in the program in Mel Trotter, I have started to build many more relationships with people from all walks of life. The program has really taught me a lot of coping skills that I didn’t have before coming to Mel Trotter.
The Step-Up Recovery Program has taught me how to deal with most of my demons that used to have control over me in my past. This program helped me cope with life. The class that had the most impact on my life would be I.O.P and the reason would be because of my friend Charles. Charles has taught me and others how to deal with stress that used to cause me to run to my drugs of choice. I now know because of Charles teachings how to handle stress and disappointments that occur in everyday life and I appreciate him and Mel Trotter for that.
In the past I didn’t care about anything or anyone. I was angry at the world and I felt life was very unfair. I was suicidal and I didn’t feel I had any worth. I was lost and confused. I didn’t understand why things that happened to me had to happen. I was angry at God and blamed him for the things that happened to me. I wondered why he didn’t protect me. Today, I am a different man and I know that God loves me for who I am. Today, I have people that I have built relationships with and care for. Today I just feel blessed to be alive and walking in faith and sobriety.
If I hadn’t come to the Mission when I did I would probably be somewhere with a needle in my arm or worse…dead. Mel Trotter has literally saved my life and given me hope for the future. I feel that the sky is the limit for me now.
My goal for the future is to become a psychologist and work with people with similar issues as mine. I have enrolled in school at Grand Rapids Community College and am currently taking classes to make this goal a reality. God is currently restoring some of my relationships with my biological family and I am praying to God about forgiveness. I am learning to trust God again.
I would like to thank the donors for keeping this building afloat and giving people like me a second chance at life. I would also like to thank the staff at Mel Trotter for being there and caring about the guests that sleep in the Mission.
I experienced abuse from my biological father as well as my foster parents, and I felt like no one loved me or cared what happened to me and that’s what caused me not to trust in God but now I know that He is the head of my life. I know that if it wasn’t for him that I would not be here today.
I have grown to love this verse out of the Bible because this is the verse that led me to Christ – and that verse is Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the path of righteousness for His name sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the lord forever."