Danny remembers the first meal that he ate at Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission. It was turkey, smothered in gravy, with sides of mashed potatoes and green beans. This was Danny’s first hot meal in over three months.
Before digging into his plate of turkey, he thanked God for the friend who drove him to the Mission. Danny believes that coming to the Mission in June of 2015 is one of the most important decisions that he has made. He was tired from the months he lived in a tent in Pennypack Park, and his first meal at the Mission restored his hope.
“I had forgotten what hot food tasted like,” Danny says of that first meal. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve become healthier. My mom is happy I’m safe and putting my life together.”
On July, 28, 2015, Danny joined the long-term program. Now he is developing skills so he can achieve his dream of becoming a master plumber.
Danny took the initiative to expand his skill-set by volunteering to work with Matt, the Mission’s Director of Operations, on maintenance projects. He painted offices, grouted bathroom tile, and learned how to repair a drain line.
Matt, and those at the Mission, think Danny is a kind and hardworking young man. Matt encourages Danny to embrace learning new skills. This uplifting advice is refreshing and unlike some of the harsh criticism Danny received as a child.
“The Mission brought me back to life,” Danny explains. “Turning my life over to Jesus has made me see that I can do anything. I’m a conqueror.”
It is hard for Danny to believe that a year earlier he was sleeping in Pennypack Park. When Danny lived in the park, he detested the rain. Some evenings he would lay awake all night because the floor of his tent was covered in water. Now when Danny hears thunder and rain pounding on the Mission’s roof, he is grateful to be inside – warm and dry.
No one ever thinks they will become homeless; neither did Danny. Growing up, he always had a place to live with his mother in North East Philadelphia. After she became ill and moved into a healthcare facility, Danny thought he found a stable home when his godfather invited him to move in. Unfortunately, this safe haven only lasted for two years. Danny’s godfather made a home in Texas and Danny made a home in Pennypack Park.
“Life on the streets was rough, but the Mission was my life saver,” Danny says. “Sunday Breakfast changes lives every day. I give glory to God.”
For the first time in many years, Danny is excited about his future. He works as a dishwasher at a diner and is eager to earn his driver’s license and enroll in trade school. Danny’s ultimate goal is to own his own plumbing company.
“Sunday Breakfast has helped me set goals,” Danny exclaims. “It has made me a whole different person!”