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2015 in review, 10 ‘Stories of Hope’ from Portland Rescue Mission

Your year-end gift gives hope and restores life to countless guests we serve every day!

Your year-end gift gives hope and restores life to the countless guests we serve every day!

With 2015 in the rearview mirror, it only seemed appropriate to look back at all the transformation you helped make happen at Portland Rescue Mission through your generosity.

With your financial support, we have been blessed to be a part of all of these men and women’s journeys below and so much more. It has allowed us firsthand to see how lives can be transformed forever through the hard work and determination that takes places in our Hope Ministries and New Life Ministries.

Here are just some of the many inspiring stories from over the last year—our “Stories of Hope” (Give your year-end tax-deductible gift TODAY to contribute to more stories like these in 2016) :

1. Overflowing with joy, Barbara lights up Shepherd’s Door, Mission Bar-B-Que

Overflowing with joy, the smile on Barbara’s face is unmistakable. As she walks the halls at Shepherd’s Door, her transformation is evident to all. Barbara’s past life is but a distant memory, and all who meet her can’t help but be inspired by her story.

“She’s my hero,” said Fox 12 Oregon’s Amy Troy at our annual “Give Hope” Telethon.

“I’ve been where many of these women have been, and I want to try and help rescue their future,” Barbara said. “Whether it’s just building their confidence, or helping develop their life skills. I’m helping mold their future.

“If I can just touch one person with what I’ve been through, and what I have to say, it makes it all worthwhile.”

2. Obi puts anger and paranoia in the past, finds family at The Harbor

(Watch Obi tell his story)

3. 12 years after Shepherd’s Door, Darlene has regained all that was lost

A dozen years ago, Darlene’s devastating crack addiction burned through all her money, alienated her family, took her children and foreclosed her home. Suddenly homeless, Darlene had no idea how to survive on the streets. “I was too scared to sleep at night, so I slept in a park during the day,” Darlene remembers.

More than a decade later, Darlene joyfully shares with other women how God has transformed her life. Shepherd’s Door helped her heal from deep wounds in her past that drove her addictive behavior.

4. After losing 30 years of his life, Gary finds ‘home’ at Connect

(Watch Gary tell his story)

5. Consumed by vengeance no more, Julie finds family at Shepherd’s Door

Julie minced no words as she kicked off her time on the stage in the courtyard at Shepherd’s Door, “There is really no one here that thought I was going to get here today,” she said. “I came in a Tasmanian Devil.”

Julie explained how, before coming to Shepherd’s Door, she was consumed with anger and vengeance. Her life had been one filled with one bad memory after another — a living nightmare. After attempting suicide four times, she had nothing left and nowhere else to go.

“I have fought God every step of the way … but He has done things with me that are amazing. … God truly does take the lonely and put them into families.”

6. John Dominguez’s ‘Story of Hope’ still strong, 10 years later

Ten years ago, John Dominguez was completely lost. He had just spent 20 years in a deep haze of drug and alcohol addiction, and it had slowly taken everything from him.

“God has brought me through everything,” John reiterated. “I’m always thinking about my choices and how they’re going to affect me and everyone else around me. How is it going to affect my recovery? And, most importantly, how is it going to affect my walk with God? It’s kept me grounded through a lot of different things.”

John’s life has been completely restored. The truth has set him free and he’s not afraid to share it.

7. Robin escapes her cardboard blanket, regains faith at Connect

(Watch Robin tell her story)

8. Not finished yet, Mike gets a second chance at The Harbor

“My life spun out of control, and I went off the deep end,” Mike explained about his life before Portland Rescue Mission. “I was a mess, and I told God ‘I’m done, just take me.’”

But God had other plans. He wasn’t finished with Mike.

“Portland Rescue Mission has given me a chance to take a time out and reconnect with God … And God has restored my mind and helped me develop a new way of thinking that has blessed me on a daily basis,” Mike stated. “The Lord has given me a new spiritual awakening, and I now know He’s been there for me all along. I know how much more He cares about me than I did before”

9. Elizabeth overcomes paralyzing grief, hopelessness at Shepherd’s Door

Completely grief-stricken and utterly broken, Elizabeth came to Shepherd’s Door after the pain of losing her husband became too much. Living life and trying to function in a healthy way became virtually impossible. Elizabeth had reached a breaking point, and the rabbit hole she tried to keep so hard from falling down was no longer avoidable.

“In my transition, after I began opening up, my growth leader told me that I had been running for so long, I feel like there is this big grizzly chasing me,” she explained. “But if I stop, turn around, and take this journey step by step, I’ll be able to slow down.

“Now I just envision and imagine that grizzly as a teddy bear. … I have patience for myself.”

10. Once scared and overwhelmed, Mike found purpose at The Harbor

(Watch Mike tell his story)