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BOBBY'S STORY

Meet Bobby.  

Bobby was living homeless when he was struck by a car while walking along the roadway.  He sustained serious injuries.  It ended up being his wake-up call. 

“After the hospital put my body back together, they sent me to Waterfront,” he said, following a five-day hospital stay.  During his weeks-long stay in Waterfront’s Recuperation Dorm – equipped with 10 medical-grade beds for homeless men to recover from illness and injury – Bobby realized he needed more than physical recovery.  Bobby, who’d struggled with alcoholism most of his life, needed mental, spiritual, and addiction recovery. 

Not long before the accident, Bobby’s wife had died after an illness.  “When my wife died, I fell deeper into my addiction,” he said, remembering the man he was before his life was transformed during his time at Waterfront. 

“I know God put me at Waterfront, because I had prayed for help,” he said. 

Photo of Bobby, a client of Waterfront Rescue Mission, smiling

Meet Bobby.  

Bobby was living homeless when he was struck by a car while walking along the roadway.  He sustained serious injuries.  It ended up being his wake-up call. 

“After the hospital put my body back together, they sent me to Waterfront,” he said, following a five-day hospital stay.  During his weeks-long stay in Waterfront’s Recuperation Dorm – equipped with 10 medical-grade beds for homeless men to recover from illness and injury – Bobby realized he needed more than physical recovery.  Bobby, who’d struggled with alcoholism most of his life, needed mental, spiritual, and addiction recovery. 

Photo of Bobby, a client of Waterfront Rescue Mission, smiling

Not long before the accident, Bobby’s wife had died after an illness.  “When my wife died, I fell deeper into my addiction,” he said, remembering the man he was before his life was transformed during his time at Waterfront. 

“I know God put me at Waterfront, because I had prayed for help,” he said. 

Photo of Bobby working at Waterfront Thrift Stores

How exactly did his life change? 

Bobby completed Waterfront’s Recovery Program, is active at a local church, and landed a good job. 

Like many others whose lives are radically changed at Waterfront, Bobby wasn’t sure he was hirable.  But Waterfront knew he’d make a remarkable employee, and they were right.  Bobby was hired by Waterfront’s Recycle & Distribution Center, helping prepare donated items to be recycled or sold in Waterfront Thrift Stores.  Hiring its own clients helps the men build marketable skills as they strengthen their resumes to show future employers that they’re reliable and hard-working, which is precisely Bobby’s goal.  

Bobby had his driver’s license restored, but owning his own car had been only a dream.  Waterfront staff helped Bobby craft a budget, and after several months of saving, Bobby was able to pay cash for a vehicle.  He can now transport himself to and from work and to other important appointments. 

Photo of Bobby working at Waterfront Thrift Stores

How exactly did his life change? 

Bobby completed Waterfront’s Recovery Program, is active at a local church, and landed a good job. 

Like many others whose lives are radically changed at Waterfront, Bobby wasn’t sure he was hirable.  But Waterfront knew he’d make a remarkable employee, and they were right.  Bobby was hired by Waterfront’s Recycle & Distribution Center, helping prepare donated items to be recycled or sold in Waterfront Thrift Stores.  Hiring its own clients helps the men build marketable skills as they strengthen their resumes to show future employers that they’re reliable and hard-working, which is precisely Bobby’s goal.  

Bobby had his driver’s license restored, but owning his own car had been only a dream.  Waterfront staff helped Bobby craft a budget, and after several months of saving, Bobby was able to pay cash for a vehicle.  He can now transport himself to and from work and to other important appointments. 

His next goal?  Saving for a place of his own.  And if anyone knows that goals are attainable, it’s Bobby!  In the meantime, he is living in Waterfront’s transitional house.  

Bobby continues learning the skills needed to be a self-sufficient, productive citizen . . . without substance abuse.  Men learn life skills in the LifeBuilder Recovery Program, such as anger management, teamwork, sober living, communication, money management, goal setting, and decision making. 

Photo of Bobby posing and smiling in front of his new car

“I have everything to look forward to because of the love, care, and compassion that Waterfront Rescue Mission has for those who are lost in this world,” he said.  “I am living proof.” 

Waterfront is a place of second chances for men like Bobby. 

He will return to his community a tax-paying, responsible man with a job and a future he can be proud of. 

The sign over the Waterfront check-in desk reads, “If you don’t have a friend in the world, you’ll find one here.”  Bobby experienced that friendship.  He didn’t face judgment when he entered our doors, but compassionate care, coupled with accountability and expectations.  That’s the model of Waterfront services… we serve you so that you can also help yourself through goal-setting and diligent effort. 

TONY'S STORY

Life Cycle

A story of redemption

Photo of Tony, a client of Waterfront Rescue Mission, smiling

Tony loved to ride his bike. He rode to and from his job, putting in long hours every day as a custodian at a Pensacola theater. He was careful, but one day, Tony was nearly killed.

“I was hit in the morning, and then I was hit again that night,” he recalls. “I lost my right leg and my neck was broken in two places. I wound up in the hospital and I lost my job, so I was really just at the mercy of the Lord.”

A chaplain visited Tony in the hospital and told him that Waterfront had a place for him. Once he completed respite care, Tony moved in and began the difficult process of rebuilding his life.

“I needed help,” Tony says plainly. “I’m just grateful that I could come here and find food, shelter, clothing and financial help all in one place. The Mission has been a really big help to me. I’m thankful God opened the door for me to come, because if I hadn’t been here, I wouldn’t have made it.”

Slowly, Tony recovered. He moved from a sling to a wheelchair to a prosthetic. His neck brace came off, and he began to regain some mobility. Little by little, his heart began to heal as well, and Tony reclaimed the faith of his youth.

“I grew up in the Word. I know God says that He will never leave you or forsake you, and I find that to be very true. I’ve always believed that no matter what you’re going through, Christ will be there with you. I should have been a goner, but the Lord kept me for a purpose.

“Without Christ, you aren’t going to make it,” he says. “The older you get, the wiser you’re supposed to get, and I have learned my lesson. I know for a fact where my help comes from!”

Through the programs at the Mission, Tony was able to save some money, and today, he has an apartment of his own. He’s back at work, and he has also returned to something else he loves.

“I’m getting my license restored, but I still ride my bike!” he laughs. “It just didn’t seem right for me to say I’ll never do it again. God has really blessed me.”

Photo of Tony's prosthetic leg while he's riding his bike