Defined (video)

Shame: we’ve all experienced it. How would you define it? And how can we move beyond it?

Watch as recovering addicts give brutally honest definitions of shame, vulnerability, and hope – showing how the path from shame to hope leads through vulnerability, not around it.

Produced in collaboration with Mozell Films.

Join the conversation on our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Confessions of Former Panhandlers (Video)

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a panhandler?
We interviewed 4 former panhandlers (HUM clients and graduates) about their old lives, covering 10 questions:

1. How’d you get into panhandling?

2. What surprised you about panhandling?

3. What did your typical day look like?

4. How much money did you make?

5. How did you spend the money?

6. How did people respond to you?

7. What was your most memorable conversation?

8. Is employment the answer?

9. When did you stop panhandling?

10. What’s your advice for someone who wants to help?

Two links for easy sharing:

The video playlist: helpum.org/panhandlerconfessions

A printable street resource card: helpum.org/streetcard 

Highlights from our February Creative Showcase (video)

Every month or so, we put on an internal talent show here at Helping Up Mission. Men in recovery share the talents they’ve been blessed with – music, art, poetry, comedy – a little bit of everything!

Here are a few highlights from the Creative Showcase this month.

Doug laughs a lot more these days

Doug laughs a lot more these days 1

“I was in prison in 1989, reading my Bible. I’d just shot a man, and had 30 years for attempted murder. They suspended everything but 5 years… So I was there in chapel, reading the Bible. I read Jeremiah 29:11, and it just struck me so strong: “I know the plans I have for you. And this ain’t it, son.”
“I was on fire for God when I got outta jail, but then I drifted back. I started drinking again. Before that, I would look at so-called bums, thinking ‘How can they live like that?!?’ Well, God humbled me…”
Doug, 189 days clean & sober, laughs a lot more these days.
“Just sit still and keep doin’ what you doin’, ‘cause God’s got it.
“I think God knows the plans He has for me, and He’s workin’ them out. This time I came back crawling, crying out for help, surrendered. This is Your life now, God, and I don’t care what it is, if You want me to mop the floors for the rest of my life, then I’ll do it. Happily!”

“Yesteryears” – A poem by new SRP Grad A.J. Rains

A.J. Rains celebrated his graduation today from the 1-year Spiritual Recovery Program, along with classmate Mike!  Both men had many family and friends in chapel to cheer them on.  Both shared from their heart about family not giving up on them in their darkest hours – joyful tears were flowing, that’s for sure!!  A.J. read the following original poem in chapel, and agreed we could share it with you!

“Yesteryears”
Flashbacks of time in my yesteryears,
of times and places and faces so dear.

Childhood memories of innocence lost,
Times of greater danger without a cost.

Things that happened when I didn’t have a care,
Like running or playing, or swimming through the air.

Flying kites or kit planes or fishing with a friend,
I never gave a thought that those days would ever end.

With some people and places and things out of control,
Face down in my addictions is how I decided to roll.

Learning things in school as how to succeed in life,
That I twisted all around, to much like work I’d rather deal with the strife.

Quitting high school without earning a letter,
Addiction ran my life for 30 years-30 years and the better.

Places with family and friends from afar,
Rapidly dispatched cause I’d rather sit in a bar.

Acquaintances came and acquaintances went,
Not giving two craps about the money I spent.

Still making my wants #1 in this world,
Out windows and doors my future I hurled.

Remaining not caring about the things that surround,
Alone in this world is where my heart was found.

Lost in a world where I just didn’t belong,
With no one around to hear my same sad song.

Alone in my sickness that was darker than black,
Trapped in the pages of my past which could never be turned back.

Then a twinkle of light that was shown by a friend,
That came with a heart that would love me till the end.

I came to believe that I wasn’t alone,
And all I wanted was for my new love to take me home.

Still not willing to give up all my strife,
I begged and I pleaded for an end to my life.

My new love would come closer the more I would try,
Understanding there’s a plan but still not knowing why.

Finally finished with my existence filled with pain,
I turned to that love realizing “I’m still sane.”

Working on and learning how to deal with the past,
I can finally let go of that pain finally…at last.

Trusting and believing that he is the way,
I’m beginning to love my new life with in which I must stay.

Coping with this new life I admit feels quite queer,
But my God has finally revealed to me, why I lived through my yesteryears.