Mike is the actor on our recent “Band-Aid” commercial.
The truth is that Mike is no actor at all. Mike actually lived a homeless, drug addicted life, until his time here at the Mission.
“It was a neat experience,” Mike says of the day he volunteered to film our TV commercial. “I’m glad the message is getting across, that the hand-out that you give here or there is just temporary. I know that’s true.”
Mike knows because he’s been there.
He lived most of his life in Tucson. Apart from his father passing when he was 12, he had a good childhood. He became a painter and earned a good living. But in 2015, when his mother passed away suddenly — Mike lost his way. “It put me in a bad place,” he remembers. “I wasn’t ready for God to take my mom. I couldn’t understand why He did that - and I hated Him for it.”
Mike turned to drugs for help. “I was already drinking here and there,” he recalls, “but that’s when I got hooked on meth. I started smoking every day. For the next two years, it was my coping device. I thought it was helping with the pain, but the more I did it, the more I realized it was just masking the problem.”
“I eventually lost my job,” Mike says. “I couldn’t pay my rent and I ended up on the streets.”
That’s where he spent the next 7 months: on sidewalks, in drain tunnels, anywhere he could find a place to lay his head.
He learned how hard it is — and how dangerous — to be homeless in Tucson.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Mike says. “You’ve got to watch your back all the time.” Someone was murdering homeless people - four people were killed in five days. One morning, Mike awoke to find police officers swarming the neighborhood. “A man in the tunnel next to mine was beaten unconscious with a lead pipe.”
That was the day Mike decided, “It’s time to get out of here. I’d had enough. I knew I needed to get help.”
By God’s grace, he heard of a place called Gospel Rescue Mission. He decided to give it a try. Every day, he came for a meal. When a bed opened up, we moved him in. Finally, Mike had a safe place to lay his head. A place to call “home.” A real bed. An actual pillow. A place of rest... of love... of hope.
And when Mike discovered that we offered Genesis, an addiction-recovery program, he was eager to sign up. That was barely a year ago. “GRM has changed my life,” he says. “The change is like day and night.”
But Mike’s transformation is about more than just substances. It’s about the Savior.
“One day in chapel, suddenly it all made sense,” Mike remembers. “The Holy Spirit grabbed me and I understood why everything happened. He told me that it was time for me to get my life going!”
“Here I’ve felt the Holy Spirit,” Mike says. “I’ve been blessed. GRM has changed my life. It’s like night and day, the change.”
Today, Mike is working, saving for an apartment. He’s also a little “famous,” thanks to his participation in our Band-Aid commercial! “I’ll be out somewhere and people say, ‘Aren’t you that guy from the GRM commercial?’ It makes me feel good that people are getting the message!”
God did it all — but He uses friends like you to set it all in motion. And we pray you’ll help us keep our doors open to another man like Mike, by giving a generous tax-deductible contribution today. Your generosity won’t provide just a Band-Aid, a short-term fix... You’ll be offering the chance for long-term transformation... hope for eternity! Thank you in advance! God bless you!