A California rescue mission rehabilitates people through love of God and fellowship.
I spent four days and nights last month at the Orange County Rescue Mission, a Christian outfit serving the local homeless. I left with stories from 40 men and women about years of cycling through drug deals, arrests, jail, probation, parole violations, homelessness and prison.
Andrew, 36, dropped out of high school and once had a job, but studying and working shifts at Jiffy Lube was boring. Meth was exciting. He enjoyed planning robberies and didn’t mind a few months every couple of years in jail: “Better drugs there than on the street.”
He married and had children but wasn’t sober at their births. He came to the mission once and left after three days, but in February 2022 he realized that “meth ain’t fun no more. . . . I felt like a force was bringing me back here.” The Christian counselors didn’t hold his past against him. After 18 months of living at the mission he and his caseworkers believe he’s ready to live an orderly life.