Charles arrived at Helping Up Mission in February 2004, on one leg. Like the other guys here, he had an addiction problem, had been incarcerated over issues related to his addiction and was just looking for some help. At that time, we just had our old 1029 East Baltimore Street building and Charles would have to walk up and down the steps to the dorm, dining hall, classroom and daily work therapy duties. We just didn’t think he would be able to keep up.
But he assured us he really wanted to do this and he would do whatever it took to stay and make things work. So, Charles joined our 12-month Spiritual Recovery Program. He graduated in February 2005 and stayed on as a graduate intern. Since he was still here, he began to work on earning his high school diploma. Charles joined the Helping Up Mission staff in January 2008 and officially received his State of Maryland High School Diploma in February 2008.
This spring, Charles will start taking college courses at Baltimore City Community College, just down the street from us. His dream – for many years – is to help others who are struggling in addictions, so he is pursuing a degree in addiction counseling.
So when Charles starts college in the spring, it will be six years since he first arrived at Helping Up Mission. His life has changed. He got clean, met God, graduated our Spiritual Recovery Program, earned his high school diploma, took a job and is now headed to college for addiction counseling.
I don’t know what you are going through or who you are worried about, but I want you to know God is alive and well down here in East Baltimore. I am also pretty sure that, wherever you live (or your loved ones), He is working there, too. So hold on and don’t let go.
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director