When you’re homeless, there is no such thing as a mild winter. Michael learned the hard way — sleeping in cardboard boxes and under freeway overpasses. He even tried stuffing himself inside a duffel bag to keep warm. But the frigid air and piercing wind always find a way through the threads of fabric, under blankets and beyond makeshift barriers. Michael came close to dying several times from hypothermia and frostbite. But, perhaps even more threatening was the drug world he was so immersed in. “I had been shot at, pistol whipped, and thrown to the ground with a gun pointed at my head,” Michael remembers vividly. “It wasn’t that I cheated death. It was that God kept me alive for His purpose.” After a 20-year cycle of “drugs and shame” he found his way to KARM’s doors, ready to make a drastic change in his life. “My sister discovered Knox Area Rescue Ministries and basically gave me an ultimatum. If I got in the program, I had my family’s support. If I didn’t, I was on my own.” Knowing full well that “on his own” meant lost to the streets for good, Michael understood what God was calling him to do. At KARM, Michael escaped the bitter cold streets and his harsh lifestyle and found the warmth and comfort of a second chance. “I did everything they told me,” Michael says of his program mentors. He poured his heart into Bible study. He showed up for every class offered. He listened to the counsel of wise advisors. “It was mind-blowing,” Michael shares. “After twenty years of doing crack, and 37 years of doing drugs, God delivered me from my addiction. I didn’t go through detox. I didn’t have any cravings. That’s just not normal.” Experiencing the power of God to save, Michael committed his future to the leadership and Lordship of Jesus. “I just heard God say, ‘If you will walk with me and stay in my Word, you won’t ever want to go back to that dark place again.’ I was in tears. I knew I had been set free.” Today, Michael celebrates over six years of freedom from addiction and homelessness. As a gifted musician, he leads our Celebrate Recovery music on Fridays and works as a contract painter and serves as a sound engineer for events in our chapel. Michael is living example of the redemption and new life that are possible through a relationship with Christ.