April 9, 2024

When Carefully Laid Plans Unravel
A Beacon post

Richard has lived an impressive, storied life.

He was a medic in the army. He worked in security for years. He was an ER nurse. He’s lived in Washington, California, Texas and Germany, among many other places. But recently, he found himself facing something entirely new — homelessness.

A few months ago, he struck up an online romance with a woman in Las Vegas. He was living in Texas at the time. Finally, he decided to make the move and see if their budding relationship had real potential.

Soon after he arrived, all his hopes and anticipation were dashed. He’s retired now and living mostly on social security, which lasted him a few days in a motel. Then, he was living on the streets. Additionally, for decades Richard has been a functioning addict, consuming some form of amphetamines off and on for almost 50 years.

Richard had heard about the Las Vegas Rescue Mission and decided to see if they could offer him some assistance. He found so much more.

He was given food and a safe place to sleep, as well as a case manager to help him file for documents, enabling him to work in Nevada. He got sober and, through the support of the Mission, has maintained it for several months now. They also helped him enroll in SNAP and Medicaid, and provided resources as he began searching for a job.

“My first 2 ½ weeks here I got more accomplished than I did in the last two years in Texas,” he says of the paperwork needed to help him thrive.

With his vast wealth of experience, it wasn’t long before several employers were offering him jobs. Currently he has an on-call position as a bellman and is training to become a security supervisor.

Most importantly, “I dedicated my life to Christ and basically put everything in his hands,” Richard says of his future. “I was actually going to be moving to South Dakota. That was my goal. And he kind of opened those doors for me … so it looks like I might be staying in Vegas for a little while.”

Eventually, Richard would love to apply for a security job at the Mission. He also enjoys helping mentor younger men who are in recovery alongside him.

“If a person wants help and is truly dedicated … they’re going to change,” he says of their shared journey. “Because they have to understand that it’s just like turning life over to Christ. You have to submit.”

Once, the future was filled with uncertainty and fear, now, says Richard, “I’m getting my life back on track.”

Thank you for sharing support for neighbors like Richard!

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