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Burnside Shelter

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.

Prior to coming to the men’s New Life Ministry at The Harbor, Mike had never really been homeless, per say. He was a “worker” as he describes. But then, he would come home, drown himself in his addictions, go to sleep and start the cycle over again the next day.

It was a vicious cycle that eventually landed Mike in jail. And it was there that God sent an “angel” in the form of a man named Wallace.

“Wallace started praying over me and saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself,” Mike said. “He literally just appeared and, while I was in jail, started sending me some information about New Life Ministries as he took care of some of the trouble I made for myself.

“As soon as I was released from jail, he was there and brought me down to Portland Rescue Mission.”

mike, the harbor graduation, new life ministries graduateSince that day, nearly 17 months ago, Mike is not only clean and sober, but his life has dramatically changed. Mike is currently in Service, and spends his working hours serving in the Guest Relations front desk at our Burnside Shelter. (Service is an optional second year of vocational training where participants learn valuable work and life skills while taking on leadership responsibilities at the facility).

“The longer I’ve set there, the more God has shown me how I could interact with individuals who are homeless, drug-addicted and living on the streets,” Mike said. “I’ve been able to develop a rapport with people that are hurting that some people just don’t have. … It’s a gift because it allows me to reach those people right where they’re at.”

He’s also been a gift to those he works with and for.

“There’s something very surreal about Mike, and I wholeheartedly believe it’s because of the light that God has placed inside of him,” Andrew Hall, Guest Care Specialist at the Burnside Shelter said. “He couldn’t stifle that light if he tried … Mike is a man of wisdom, knowledge and strength … and if you know Mike even a little bit, you know he’s an encourager to everyone he comes in contact with.”

Above all else, though, Mike has a new life, and he’s getting a second chance to be the man he’s always wanted to be. He’s finally free from addiction and living in and with a community of friends, family and people to love.

“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”



I’m encouraged by Mike every day. Every single time we have a community recognition of him, it is absolutely fascinating how many people will be in tears saying, “Michael, you have no idea what it meant to me when you did …” and you can fill in the blank: “When you gave me those shoes,” “When you greeted me at the door,” “When you prayed with me,” “When you whispered a word of encouragement to me,” etc. That’s who Mike is, and it’s a trophy of God’s grace. … The conversations we’ve had are just fascinating. Mike has such wisdom and rich life experiences to share with others.

All I had to do is just give a little nudge and Mike would just go. He was downtown serving. He was ministering to other people, and it was just amazing to watch Mike as he came to life throughout the program. I love you man. Congratulations!


Romans 12:1-2 (KJV): I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Proverbs 3

Psalm 51