The men in the Overcomer Program are very diverse, coming from all different walks of life and backgrounds but Steve was encouraged to discover that the men all have one thing in common – they came to find a safe refuge and a better future.
As a child, Steve was a brilliant student. He always excelled in his school work and even tested out a grade. However, his education came to a swift halt when, at the age of 17, he had to drop out in order to help his grandmother. Despite Steve’s dream of going to college, he willingly took responsibility for his family at his own expense.
Steve’s story proves that God always had a plan for his life. Forty-two years ago, Steve worked at a sign store across the street from Sunday Breakfast. As he looked out the window, he saw countless homeless men coming in and out of the Mission. He knew that Sunday Breakfast was doing a good thing for these men, but he never envisioned himself as one of them.
Unlike many members of the homeless population, Steve never struggled with drugs or alcohol, nor did he get in trouble with the law. Unfortunately, a conflict with his uncle changed his life and Steve lost everything. Steve was homeless and alone, longing for a place of familiarity. Memory sparked of the homeless men coming and going from Sunday Breakfast.
Steve made a call to Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission just looking for advice about what he should do next. As he was talking to Chaplin Love about his situation, Chaplain Love simply said, “Come on home, Steve”.
These words gave Steve hope. He then saw clearly that Sunday Breakfast was where he needed to go. Steve joined the Mission’s long term Overcomer Program in 2017. Steve thrived in the Learning Center as he took classes from finance to Christianity. Steve explain that his curiosity propelled him forward, “I am learning more about who God is at Sunday Breakfast that was what I felt was missing in my life.”
Before Sunday Breakfast, Steve did not have a personal relationship with Christ. In the past, Steve had shied away from Christianity because of negative experiences with the church. However, Steve always had a spirit of thankfulness. Steve’s heart opened at Sunday Breakfast despite his reservations about the church. His curious heart pushed him forward to learn more about Christianity on his own time by reading the Bible and, eventually, experienced a personal relationship with the Lord.
Steve attributes his spiritual transformation to the love that was shown to him at Sunday Breakfast. Steve is extremely grateful to everyone that supports this ministry. “This place has a special place in my heart, Sunday Breakfast has given me a lot.”
Steve continues to pursue his relationship with God. When Steve was working at the front desk people would regularly see him reading the Bible. The chaplains quickly began to trust him and Steve became even more involved in the Mission.
After graduating from the Overcomer Program, Steve was selected to become an Intern Chaplin at Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission. Now Steve spends his time ministering to the men in the emergency shelter.
Many of our programs focus on addiction recovery because this is a pervasive struggle in the homeless community. But, because Steve never struggled with addiction, he has a heart for men that come to homelessness from different paths. Steve feels passionately that all of life’s twists led him right here to Sunday Breakfast where he can now minister to these men who need him so much.
The simple act of engaging in short conversations with new guests was the beginning of Steve’s ministry at Sunday Breakfast. His friendliness and willingness to share his life experiences and listen attracted many men to seek advice. Through these one-on-one conversations, he hopes to be a role model to these younger men.
“Sunday Breakfast has been a stepping stone for me to reset my life, and I will put my full effort to give back to Sunday Breakfast.” Steve further emphasizes, “I believe in the best of everyone, and all I can do is give the best advice to men like me.”