Meals & Outreach

Tragically, Alex was ripped away from his family when he was only 8 years old. Following a knock on his grandparent’s door at 6 am, Indian Agents took him away to a residential school where he would face horrific trauma and abuse that no child should ever experience.

Unable to cope with the pain of his childhood, Alex turned to alcohol. Soon his drug use and drinking was out of control. “I couldn’t help but feel like the messages I’d heard as a child were true,” Alex shares. “I was destined to be a drunk. I was a waste of space. I didn’t belong.”

At 43 years old, Alex ended up at Union Gospel Mission in Mission after hearing that he would receive a free, hot meal. Week after week he returned for the food, and slowly started to get to know the staff. What stood out most to Alex was each staff member’s non-judgmental attitude—their care felt genuine.

After two years of meals and friendship, Alex trusted the staff enough to give UGM’s Alcohol & Drug Recovery Program a try. Living free from addiction was a significant turning point, and now Alex is seven years clean and working as an Outreach Worker at UGM.

Today, he explains, “Without the love and care I received at UGM, I believe my addiction would have killed me. Being part of a community gave me hope.”

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