It’s midnight and Evans finds himself walking around, going no place in particular. Evans has no home to call his own—no support system to help him.
He lived at The Crossing when he was part of Denver Rescue Mission’s New Life Program, a long-term rehabilitation program for men, but after using drugs, he had to leave the program.
Evans, a 23-year-old Mission guest now staying at the 48th Avenue Center, grew up in Kenya in a strict, Christian household. His family moved to Texas in 2009 when he was 12. Although his parents raised him to be Christian, Evans fell away from his faith around the age of 14.
For Evans, his addiction began with peer pressure. At the age of 16, he started smoking marijuana with friends, which led to struggles with drug addiction. After graduating high school and joining a fraternity in college, his addiction only became worse. “That’s all they did, 24/7, is just drink. I could have said no, but,” he said hesitating, “it’s not as easy as it sounds.”
Evans decided that it would be best to leave college and move to Denver to live with his parents. He thought living with family would help him overcome his drug addiction, but he continued to struggle. In December of 2019, Evans lost his home. With nowhere to go, he found the New Life Program at the Mission.
Months later, Evans found himself on the streets again. One night as he walked aimlessly, Evans questioned everything. Why had he gone out and used drugs when he was so close to finishing the program? While reflecting on his time in the program and the counseling he received, Evans knew he couldn’t spend time with friends who peer pressured him into a destructive lifestyle any longer.
Now, Evans is working at the Women’s Bean Project in Denver with plans to go back to school to study information technology. He is also lining up a place to live. Denver Rescue Mission gave him an opportunity to get back on track.
“When I started [at the Mission], I was not in the right state of mind,” he said. “Ever since being [here], I’m ready to go back to work and actually function.”
Evans continues to grow in his faith as he navigates pushing through difficult days. By keeping the word of God close, he knows he can endure anything.
“There [have been] many times that I wanted to say screw it and just go out and drink and do all sorts of drugs because I was at my lowest,” he said. “But instead, I picked up the Bible and read a couple verses in Proverbs or Samuel, which pushed me through it.”
Written by: Jacob Cain, former Denver Rescue Mission Assistant Food Services Manager