Changed Lives

Update to Jeff’s Story
God had a plan when he put Crossroads in my path!

Since my last interview, my family has continued to grow as we welcomed our daughter Nora Jean in June 2019.

I have also made the transition to working back at Crossroads. I am currently the Development Director and the thing I love most about working at Crossroads is they deeply care about my me and mental health. They help in any way they can, which includes time off to stay on top of my mental health.

Since leaving the Mission, staying clean has probably been the easiest part while staying on top of my mental well being has been the most trying. It helps to work for a Christian organization which helps people with the same struggles as myself.  It makes coming to work not only a joy but also has a real positive impact on my mental health.

Even though my stay at the Mission was well over 10 years ago, the lessons that I learned while there continue to impact not only my own life, but also the lives of my family, and anyone I come across. I am much more aware and sympathetic to people struggling because I have struggles.  Being around the people at the mission make me open to share about my personal struggles and not feel judged.

Without  Crossroads in my life, I definitely think my life would look a lot different.  But God had a plan when he put Crossroads in my path and I have been blessed with a beautiful wife, two beautiful children, and lots loving friends and family.

Carmon’s Story
“I Felt Like I Had Failed”

When it rains, it pours. Just ask Carmon. She was living in a basement apartment when the Great Flood of 2019 arrived. The waters rushed in, and she lost everything.

She found another place, but her hours at work were being cut, and it became cost prohibitive. She left that behind and moved into an extended-stay hotel, but it was infested with bedbugs.

Then the pandemic hit, and a couple of her adult children lost their jobs. Carmon depleted all of her savings trying to help them stay afloat. Out of money and options, Carmon turned to Crossroads for help.

“At first I was like, Why am I here?,” she says. “I felt like I had failed. I couldn’t imagine what I had done to deserve this, because I was trying to do the right things.” But life had hit hard, and Carmon was grateful to have a safe place to land.

“The staff here is amazing and so supportive,” she says. “And I know The Man Upstairs is going to take care of me. I know that. I’m just trying to learn to turn it all over to him, which is hard for me, because I’m one of those control people.”

Carmon was about to lose control of one more thing: Her company eliminated her job last summer, while she was at the Mission. But it wasn’t long before God provided her with a new job, even closer to home.

She’s renting one of the reduced-rate apartments at Crossroads until she can save up some money, buy a car and get back out on her own again. Till then, she’s thankful for the Mission.

“I’m excited about the future,” she says. “I’m glad Crossroads is here.”

She’s glad for the support of friends like you, too. Thank you for being there!

Rolland’s Story
“I Fell off the Deep End”

Rolland’s father was murdered when he was three years old, and that memory haunted him throughout his childhood.

He rebelled as a teen, and went to prison at 17 on a breaking-and-entering charge. When he was released six years later, Rolland managed to turn his life around — working as an electrician, getting married and even having kids.

“Everything was good until my little brother died,” he says. Rolland was 43 when a heart attack took his brother’s life. Shortly after, his mother and his grandparents died as well. “And then I just fell off the deep end. I really lost my mind,” he recalls.

The next decade was a blur of drinking and drugs until Rolland ended up living under a bridge for three years. One day, seeing his plight, a woman gave him $20 and a book of daily devotions.

“I read the passage for that day,” Rolland says. “And it said don’t let go of Jesus’ hand.”

Rolland didn’t let go, and he eventually ended up at Crossroads, where he’s turning things around. “I’m really grateful for Crossroads,” he says. “I know Jesus led me here, and he’s going to help me through.”

You can help people like Rolland find a new life!

Virginia’s Story
“I can’t thank Crossroads enough for being the blessing that I needed!”

Virginia came to Crossroads after multiple auto accidents left her unable to work.  Therapies, surgeries and Doctor visits quickly took her savings, and she found herself homeless.  “I may have wound up on the streets, and I may well have been dead by this time.  So I can’t thank Crossroads enough for being the blessing that I needed!”, shares Virginia.  She continues, “If you need them, they are here!  If you’re willing to do the program, it works!”  As she makes plans for her future, Virginia knows that Crossroads will walk with her every step of the way!

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Debra’s Story
For the first time in Debra’s life she found a place that felt like home…Crossroads Mission Avenue.

When Debra’s husband died very suddenly at just 49 years old, he had no life insurance. She exhausted nearly all of their savings paying for his funeral and her income wasn’t enough to pay the mortgage and all the bills.

After struggling for a few years, she decided to move to Nebraska, where her daughter was just starting a family of her own. Debra moved in to help with the baby, but after a few months she needed a place of her own and heard about a room for rent through a friend of hers.

Debra developed a relationship with the man who owned the home, but it wasn’t long before she realized what a dangerous man he was.

He dominated and controlled her, isolating her from friends and family, destroying her driver’s license and making her a prisoner in her own home. “The bruises wouldn’t heal before he’d hit me again,” Debra remembers.

Debra finally escaped one night when the man went out for a drink, and thankfully she found her way to Crossroads Mission Avenue. “I felt at home here for the first time maybe in my whole life. They’re my family. We’ve got an amazing community here and we have everything we need. I’m so thankful,” Debra says. “If it weren’t for the donors, none of this would be possible. This place and the people here – they saved my life.”

Robert’s Story
“I Don’t Want to Let Them Down”

Robert, 55, has lost count of how many times he’s been to Crossroads Mission Avenue over the last 10 years or so.

Each time, it’s been for the same reason. “Drinking,” he says. And each time he’s left, same reason: “Drinking.” And never in moderation.

“When I drink, I take it to the max,” he admits. “I’ve lost friends, I’ve lost jobs, I’ve been kicked out of bars, all from drinking too much and acting stupid.”

Robert has recently come to believe he’s been repressing anger and trauma from his childhood. He vividly remembers his father abusing his mother when he was just 3. And he recalls his mom saying cruel things to him during his teenage years.

“But when I drink, all that goes away,” he says. “No cares, nothing.”

Robert likes coming to the Mission because, he says, “They always give you a chance to redeem yourself.” Each time he returns, he builds on his experience and gets a little closer to victory over his past.

This time, he’s been here for nine months and has worked his way up to a position of leadership. He makes out the list of daily chores and serves as an on-call worker at night. He also has the gift of empathy, especially for those with mental health issues. And he has a calming manner.

This Christmas season, Robert particularly embraces the gift of grace he’s found at the Mission, and he’s more committed than ever to remaining sober. He’s almost 200 days clean!

“I don’t want to let the Mission down,” he says, “because they’ve been so good to me.”

You inspire positive change for folks in recovery. Thank you for showing them the compassion they need.

Vanessa’s Story
“When I was at my lowest, Crossroads came through for me!”

Everybody falls on hard times, but do you know where can you turn for help??

In the midst of picking up the pieces after her sister’s death, Vanessa was in a serious car accident.  Brake failure caused an accident which totaled her car, and she was left without transportation.

Through a collaboration with Salvation Army, Crossroads Mission Avenue was able to help.  A generous donor had given a car to Crossroads, which provided for her need!

Vanessa is so grateful, sharing, “When I was at my lowest and thought all hope was lost, Crossroads came through for me!  I am so blessed that there are people out there who help those in need!”

Spencer’s Story
“If it weren’t for Crossroads, I’d be in a world of trouble.”

After an argument with his ex-girlfriend got out of control, Spencer hit rock bottom when he landed in jail, but it was somehow exactly where he needed to be.

It was during his time in jail that he heard about Crossroads Mission Avenue. He wasn’t sure about it at first, but he quickly learned that it was the right place for him.

He entered the program and was making good progress, but then he met someone new and decided to move in with her. That’s when he says he felt the Holy Spirit and knew he wasn’t ready to be on his own. So he made the life-changing decision to return to Crossroads, worried he’d fall back into the old habits.

Surrounded by caring people and the mental and spiritual support he needed, Spencer is now working hard to improve his life. He’s even gaining job skills by working security and answering phones at Crossroads.

“If it weren’t for Crossroads, I’d be in a world of trouble,” Spencer says. “I’m doing good now.”

Your support is behind the care and guidance Spencer found at Crossroads Mission Avenue. Thank you for helping him choose the path to renewed life!

Shawn’s Story
“Crossroads has taken a different approach to deal with my addictions and sin nature. They’re teaching me now to think different, be responsible and change old habits.”

I grew up in a family that used drugs and alcohol. That’s all I really knew. My family rarely talked about God. I’d used drugs and alcohol since I was 14 years old and I was dependent upon it somewhere around the age of 20.

My addiction has put me in the hospital several times. I’ve spent 2 solid years homeless at the age of 26. Ever since then, I’ve bounced in and out of treatment centers and never been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I came to Hastings to try to find a fresh start and something new. I found Crossroads.

Crossroads has taken a different approach to deal with my addictions and sin nature. They’re teaching me now to think different, be responsible and change old habits. But most important, they’re helping me gain a connection with Jesus Christ. Truthfully, I haven’t been this happy in a long time. For the first time in a very long time, I have hope again, and a joy that no drug can replace.

Deborah’s Story
“I am a viable person”

Deborah had always felt accomplished. After all, she’d raised two fine children in Hastings. And as a fully degreed accountant, she’d enjoyed a successful career for over 30 years. But everything changed in an instant when Deborah suffered a stroke and subsequently lost her job and home.

Having also lost her voice from the stroke, Deborah was placed in a nursing home, where she underwent intensive voice therapy for several months. When she finally completed her treatment, she came to Crossroads Mission Avenue because she could no longer afford a place of her own.

Through the support of friends like you, Deborah was welcomed with safe shelter and nutritious meals. But just as important to her is the emotional support and community she’s found. “Here, I have a sense of purpose,” she says. “I am a viable person.”

Looking to pour her energy into something, Deborah was thrilled for the opportunity to help out in our Thrift Store. And our staff helped her plug into a government program that pays her for the hours she works.

With her Thrift Store job and social security income, Deborah was recently able to move into her own apartment a few blocks away. She continues to work at the Mission Avenue Thrift store, which she loves and takes great pride in. And she is eternally grateful for the love and support she’s received, amid her unique circumstances.

“That’s what Crossroads is all about,” Deborah says. “All walks of life… different walks of life… and we’ve all got a story.”