From Darkness to Light – Ulises thanks friends like you for saving his life

From Darkness to Light

When Ulises was five years old, his father, an alcoholic, sent his son to retrieve liquor from a nearby store. Curious, little Ulises broke the bottle’s seal and took a sip. Little did he know that this small drink would foreshadow an enormous struggle with addiction ahead.

“Alcohol in my life is a long story,” Ulises says today. “It was a huge monster that wrapped its arms around me. It’s been a lifelong struggle… I couldn’t stop drinking.”

As an adult, Ulises’ addiction forced his wife and two daughters to ask him to leave their home. Ulises spent years on the streets, drunk and homeless, splitting time between sleeping on the streets and resting inside a nearby truck.

One night, one of Ulises’ daughters knocked on the vehicle window and asked, “Daddy, do you really want to change?” Fighting back tears, the loving father replied, “Yes, I do. I love you. But it’s hard. I can’t do it on my own.” 

That emotional conversation stuck in Ulises’ mind. So, when a local church recommended that he come to Helping Up Mission, Ulises knew what he had to do. 

But having lived on the streets for so long, alone with his addiction, Ulises had lost the ability to trust anyone or anything. Especially someone offering to help him out of the goodness of their heart.

“I remember people here at HUM walking me to the front of the food line, offering me a place to shower, clean clothes, and a safe bed to sleep in. It was like a dream. I couldn’t believe it.” 

Comparing his time at HUM with the dark nights he used to spend hunkered down on the streets or in a truck, Ulises says, “It feels like one big light here. I pray for the people who helped me come here. Without this place, I think I’d be dead.”

Today, Ulises is fully sober. He’s completed nearly a full year of detox, classes, counseling, and other services that have restored his faith – empowering him to build back trust in God, in others, and in himself. 

He’s even begun working at HUM and started the process of reconciliation with his loved ones. “I learned that I was hurting my family,” he shares. “When you hurt yourself, you hurt them too. I was blind. I couldn’t see that before.”

“It feels like one big light here.”


Share God’s love with more people like Ulises!

Because of the unexpected, life-changing care you offered him, Ulises considers you to be an extended family member. As a new year begins at Helping Up Mission, hundreds more men and women await a similar blessing – many who have no relationship with family at all. Our Spiritual Recovery Program aims to heal, then strengthen, the minds, bodies, and souls of those with nowhere else to turn.

Please, give as generously as you can now.