“I love not having to wake up in an alley.” Sean doesn’t take the simple things for granted any more. Born in Hobbs, New Mexico, Sean says that his entire life has been one where he’s lived “mostly on the streets.”
“I would be on the streets for days at a time when I was 9 years old. I would eat out of my friend’s refrigerators. My mom was off doing other things. My friend’s parents would ask me why I was so hungry all the time. They’d ask, “Don’t you have any food where you live?” I told them I didn’t have a place to live.
“I started selling drugs when I was a kid. Making that money helped me survive.”
Selling drugs put me in bad situations so I tried legitimate work. I painted address boxes on curbs but it wasn’t bringing in enough money to support myself and my son.
My friend’s parents would ask me why I was so hungry all the time, “Don’t you have any food where you live?” I’d say “I don’t have a place to live.”
In attempt to get more money, Sean began gambling. “I used to manipulate people to play money for me.” Even when he won, Sean would keep making choices that felt good in the moment but would not provide the life for his family that he wanted.
“I was broken when I walked in the doors at Steelbridge. I had given up and was angry with God. I had a lot of sadness and so many things were not right in my life.”
Sean recounts the times when one of the men, David, in the Steelbridge New Life Program would see him every day and invite him to join. “He’d say that the paperwork was ready and all I had to do was show up. David was right. Had I known Steelbridge was like this, I would have come sooner. I should have.”
In the New Life Program, Sean has learned to trust God with his future. Gambling was his way of trying to manipulate the future to get what he wanted and needed. His faith was in luck. His outlook is different now. “God is there and He’s going to help. I’m learning to overcome worry and struggles by following God’s direction for my life.”
“I have a future and a hope now. I’m being patient about my future. I don’t have a lot of formal education but the Learning Center staff are helping me find a career. I don’t have a lot of work history so I’m building references to help me move forward in my career. I need something steady.”
“I wake up with joy knowing that Jesus is in my life. Now that I am being helped, I know I need to be an example to other people. I tell the other guys in the program, you may not be able to help your family now. But you will be able to help your family one day when you fill your life with good things.”