Photo of Mark “Dave”
Article by Emily Bressler
Mark entered  Union  Mission  over  a  year ago. He was admitted through the Returning Citizen program. However, his experience with homelessness started 10 years prior.
In 2009, Mark experienced a traumatic mid-life crisis. His wife suddenly passed away, he lost his auto accessory business, and his house all within  the  short  span of a month. He began to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol in order to deal with the pain and heartache that he was facing. The path he was forging led him  in and out of prison. Eventually, a judge was able to see something in Mark and promised to help him get the treatment that he so desperately needed. Mark was able to enter the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment, RSAT, to begin receiving treatment. After nine months in RSAT, Mark knew that he couldn’t go back to his hometown because he would start to repeat his old patterns and routines. To truly start fresh, he needed a new environment. One of his counselors at RSAT was able to refer him to Union Mission.

“Coming to Union Mission saved my life”

Union Mission has been able to provide more than a warm place to stay and a hot meal. While at Union Mission, Mark has received the mental health counseling that he has needed in order to move forward.

Mark has since decided to start going by his middle name “Dave.” Dave explained that when he came to Union Mission he wanted to leave his past behind him. “When I was “Mark”, he got me in a bunch of trouble and didn’t help me out so I divorced him and that’s why I now go by “Dave”. This way I can keep from going back to Mark’s personality.”
Dave is currently receiving treatment for a medical problem, but he has big plans for life outside of Union Mission. Once he is healthy, he plans on returning to work in the auto accessory industry. One of his goals is to start traveling for pleasure. He wants his first stop to be Charleston, SC.

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