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“Keeping my head and heart right.”

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Larry was living in Lock Haven when his world, and his family, fell apart around him.

“I thought everything was fine,” he says shaking his head. “But then something I said was taken out of context and the next thing you know, everything just exploded and I ended up leaving.”

Larry left behind more than a place to live...he left his girlfriend and his daughter, and if not for our Gateway Center, he would have become just one more homeless statistic.

He had tried another shelter in Easton, but they were full, and referred him to the Allentown Rescue Mission.

The first few weeks were hard for him, though.

“I was depressed. I didn’t want to be around anyone. But then I got to know some of the other guys who were staying at the Mission and the staff and I started talking with them. ­That’s where it all started to turn around.

Staff members talked with Larry about our Christian Living Program, a Christ-centered, residential program that works to restore men to God, their families and the community. In addition to housing, meals, clothing, education and training, the program also offers spiritual growth and the Good News about Jesus Christ.

“There was a change inside of me.”

In addition to being involved with Bible study and chapel here at the Mission, Larry started attending a local church. “I really didn’t know God until I came to the Mission,” he says. It got him thinking about Jesus “more and more,” and gradually, his depression lifted.

“There have been changes inside of me,” he says. “I went from a low to a high point. Now, I can do anything if I keep my head and heart right.”

After graduating from CLP, Larry went on to work with the Clean Team, where he enjoys making a difference in the community’s streets. “Every time I go on the street, I get people to smile,” he says. “I encourage them to come and see what kind of work we’re doing.”

As he moves into the Mission’s transitional housing, he’s also looking for full-time work that will enable him to support himself. Each little step makes a big difference.

To read the rest of the issue of Tidings, click here.