Daryl remembers the day well. He was 10 years old, sitting on a porch swing, when his mother packed her bags and left the family for good. He didn’t understand, but in his child’s heart, he always thought she left because of him.
“I grew up in church,” Daryl recalls. “I always believed in God, but He wasn’t really a part of my daily life after my mom left.”
Daryl struggled with severe anxiety issues throughout his life, deep resentment toward his mother, and was unable to cope with everyday life. Years later, he turned to drugs to self-medicate – “just to feel normal,” he says.
Through the years, Daryl stayed in contact with his mother. Then, when she fell ill with stage-4 cancer, he devoted himself to caring for her. When she finally died, Daryl emotionally broke down.
“After I lost my mother, I started isolating myself,” he says. “I became homeless for years, because I couldn’t get over my mother’s death. I remember spending nights in a sleeping bag, out in the elements. I got diabetes and had sores all over my legs, and that really scared me. On March 1, 2022, I had my left leg amputated.”
Daryl felt lost, lonely, and miserable. He thought no one cared. In November 2022, at his lowest point, he turned to Waterfront Mission.
“At first, I still isolated myself from everyone here and dwelled on my old life,” he recalls. “But the chaplains and all my brothers here wouldn’t give up on me. I felt accepted, and I experienced so much love and fellowship. Their encouragement helped me get some of my self-esteem back. I found new confidence and faith in the Lord.”
Thanks to Waterfront Mission and your support, Daryl hopes to be in permanent housing again, but he’ll always be part of our Mission family. “I’m thankful to Waterfront and all the donors for what they did because this place is a dream for me.”