“Part of my goal was to build relationships with these men, to buy into their lives, to find out what they’re battling or what they need encouraged in. How I can help them. I was looking at a lot of men who were battling depression or just being lost. No glimmer in their eye; they’re just existing. It just tore my heart.
“What I started to do was to build these relationships and allow the trust to be built, and now I’m seeing so much fruit coming out of these men. I’m seeing men come here, they’re broken, and seeing men restored back to their families. I’ve seen men be fathers and husbands again. I’ve seen men stay clean and sober. I’m seeing God work powerfully.” – Joe, Union Gospel Mission, Spokane
Photo by Marshall McLean
“This is going to sound weird, but I’m obsessed with people. I love trying to figure out people. Everyone has a story and everyone is someone else when no one is around. I love trying to figure out who that person is.” – Nathaniel, Spokane
Photo: Jessica Morgan
1/3 – “We met on the internet in 2004 and at the time, I had just gone through a divorce and was going to a counselor, and I was in the process of re-inventing myself. I met her, she was a great fit for my reinvention…When I met her, she was headed for Elbrus…Elbrus is the tallest mountain in Europe. And then, shortly after that, she climbed Denali. She already did Kilimanjaro. So that was pretty exciting for me because I’d never met a woman like [her] before.” –Michael, Montana
Photo by Jessica Morgan
“I felt a rush of energy go through me, almost as if time was standing still and it was just us two on the planet. Looking into the woman’s eyes of whom I grew to love so much, meeting her as an adolescent boy to being a young man and understanding how far we have come as well as changed. It’s crazy, a paragraph I couldn’t put into words… Her soul is beautiful and it’s contagious. Just being able to look at her, hold her hands and tell her how much I love her,and how we most definitely will grow old together was a rare, special moment. Society is different nowadays but her and I will stay true to the origins of marriage because we won’t conform to what the statistics say about marriage. I understood that as I asked her to marry me.” – Topher, Spokane
Photo by Clare Pursch
“It was hard for me to stay here because I didn’t really like staying indoors … What made me really stay here was the fellowship with the people and how everybody cares for everybody.
“…The most important thing to staying in recovery is the people you hang out with. If you don’t want change, you’re going to go back to the old people. But if you want change, you’re going to find healthy people that believe in the same thing you believe in.” – Charlie, UGM Men’s Recovery
You can find his full story on the UGM blog.