Jun 16, 2014
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A man who was living on Richmond’s streets before he sought help from the Bay Area Rescue Mission will make you think twice about the causes of homelessness.

The man, identified only as Jake, told his story Tuesday about becoming an addict and living on Richmond’s streets after losing both his 22-year-old daughter and wife to cancer within a two-year period.

Eventually someone told Jake about the Richmond-based Bay Area Rescue Mission, which provides a wide variety of services to the region’s homeless.

“It was lifesaving,” he said.

But Jake’s struggles did not end there. As soon as his life took a significant turn for the better, he lost his son to a drug overdose.

“I really appreciated the Rescue Mission,” he said. “The chaplains were there for me – without them, I don’t think I would’ve made it.”

Jake graduated from the Bay Area Rescue Mission program in January. Today, he serves as a senior coordinator in the nonprofit’s recovery program and takes great pride in helping others.

 “I hope by hearing my story, people will take it to heart that you can overcome anything,” he said.

To read the Bay Area Rescue Mission’s most recent issue of its newsletter, Bay Area Hope, click here.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.