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Chatman's restoration: a story you made possible

"The Mission saw something good in me, even when I didn't believe in myself..."

ChatmanMy name is Chatman and for seventeen years, I threw my life away.

As a young child, I suffered tremendous abuse. So to cope, I began drinking alcohol at six years old. I had so much pain and anger bottled up inside. Alcohol turned to drugs, which turned to violence, and ultimately homelessness.

I spent my days on the streets eating out of garbage cans and sleeping on the sidewalk. I lost all respect for myself and felt as good as dead. In fact, I was pronounced dead after getting stabbed in the heart – but God miraculously saved my life. You’d think that would have woken me up, but I didn’t know how to escape my 17-year drug addiction. My last hope was The Bowery Mission.

When I walked through those red doors, I heard a message that I didn’t expect… a message of God's love. The counselors at the Mission actually saw something good in me. I might not have believed in myself, but their faith in me gave me the motivation to restart my life.

I knew if I kept living the way I was, I’d either die or get killed. I was tired of having nothing and was ready to change.

Thanks to The Bowery Mission, I learned how to work hard, how not to take things for granted and how to have a relationship with God. The Mission gave me a foundation beneath my weary feet. Twenty years later, by God’s grace, I am an ordained pastor here in New York.

Without a doubt in my mind, I know my life was spared for a reason. Instead of being another statistic, God helped me to make a life for myself. One step into the Mission started me on a whole new path. I have an attitude of gratitude, because I know where I came from and just how far God has brought me.

Your gift will make a difference

Every day, The Bowery Mission's programs for men, women and children are making a life-transforming difference for people experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, unemployment and other crises. Your online gift today will go to work immediately providing meals, shelter, medical care and long-term recovery for adults; or mentoring and enrichment opportunities for youth.

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