In 2008, John, along with thousands of others in Michiana, got hit hard by the recession. When the economy took a dive and stayed there, one of the first things that went south was the building of new homes – and John’s livelihood.

“They foreclosed on my house.”

John had no place to go. Not only was he truly homeless, but he began drinking. “I started to lose things one after the other, and ended up here at the Mission.” No matter how grateful he was for the help he received, John, like many others chaffed under the rules. Leaving the Mission, he went back to carpentry, but couldn’t make enough to support himself and eventually returned to the Mission.

“The Mission was always good to me.”

John wanted to give back, so with his love for cooking, he began working in the kitchen. “I found that I had a knack for making big meals. It’s not much different than when you cook at home, just everything is BIG and I was good at that.” John did so well he was offered a job here at the Mission. And even though it didn’t pay as well as what he had been making, he accepted. “People who work here don’t work for the money,” he says. Today, he shares an apartment with another Mission employee, and in addition to cooking, John works with volunteers.

“The generosity of people who volunteer and donate food and money is awesome,” he says. “If someone would have told me what people do here, I would have laughed at them. Now, when I show others all that’s done here, they always say, ‘we had no idea!’”

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