This Thanksgiving, Brian is grateful to the security team at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.
Not just because they maintain order, intervene if someone gets upset and make sure the campus is safe. But because they provide a whole extra layer of security — in the form of encouragement and comfort for anyone in distress.
Brian, 60, is one of the senior members on the team, and he’s been on both sides of the equation. When he came to the Mission in early 2022 in need of help, men on the security team often lifted him up in his lowest moments. And now that the shoe is on the other foot, Brian is doing the same for current guests.
“The security guys were always there for me,” Brian says, “saying things like, ‘Hang in there, don’t give up, you can do this.’ They had a great effect on a lot of people. It’s not that they were counselors, but there was always someone available to come up and say, ‘It’s all right, it’s going to be cool.’”
When Brian graduated from the recovery program, he was immediately offered a job in security. He took it, grateful for the work, of course, but even more so to have the opportunity to pay it forward. “A lot of times, we’re the first shoulder to cry on,” he says. “We’ll refer them to counselors as needed, but sometimes people just need a pat on the back.”
Brian says his team rarely has to kick into “law and order” mode. When someone is agitated or out of line, the security guys mainly step in to de-escalate and encourage. “Sometimes people are just having a bad day,” he says. “We rarely have to strong-arm anyone.” Even rarer, they might have to call the LVPD to intervene.
Brian knows what it’s like to have a bad day. He’s been there …
“It just decimated me.”
“I loved being married,” Brian says. “I loved being a husband and a dad and everything.”
But all that changed in 2005 when Brian’s wife came to him one day and said she didn’t love him anymore and wanted a divorce. “It just decimated me,” he says. “I got really depressed and drank more than I should have.”
He fell into a cycle with on-and-off struggles with alcohol, holding jobs, having any sense of lasting stability. He finally got tired of living that way: “I decided I didn’t want the cycle anymore, and I wanted to go wherever I needed to make my life stable.” That place was the Mission.
Brian says the Mission’s emphasis on Christian teaching made the difference.
“They helped me get connected spiritually again,” he says. “And that solved my depression — getting out of myself. I needed to do a lot of forgiving before I could move on. But once I did, it came with a real sense of peace.”
You can help your neighbors in need find their own sense of peace and security when you give. Thank you for caring!