It’s scary to think about where I would be without the Mission. It’s cold here. I could freeze to death out on the streets.

Against all odds, Eddie has kept his hope. He greets Mission guests with a warm smile and a hot plate of food.

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No one could guess that 2009 was not a great year for Eddie. He lost his restaurant, endured a divorce

and had to file for bankruptcy. After living in Denver for 37 years, he experienced homelessness for the first time. Distraught, Eddie moved to Fort Collins because he wanted to get away from familiar surroundings. After months of job searching with little return, he moved to Las Vegas to seek other opportunities.

“In Nevada, I felt like I was escaping my problems. After a year and a half there, I felt like I needed to come back to Colorado and face them,” says Eddie.

Eddie made his way back to Fort Collins and found shelter at the Mission at the end of 2012. His plan was to stay for just a couple nights, but then he found out about the new Steps to Success program. The 3-9 month program provides men and women the tools they need to become independent. Eddie attends résumé building and job training meetings, and benefits from the financial guidance offered. “This program made me want to stay here,” says Eddie.

He works three days a week in the Mission’s kitchen, utilizing his cooking skills and blessing the men and women who eat there. His hours in the kitchen count toward his work therapy as part of the program. Eddie says: “I feel so comfortable here. It’s a clean environment and there’s no violence. I know every person in this program is trying to make their life better, and it’s helping me.”

Thank you for helping to give Eddie a second chance.

CLN October 2016

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Eddie's story was featured in the February 2013 issue of Changing Lives titled “A Second Chance”

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