Ben grew up in a good family and had a promising life ahead of him. Ben was a good student and preparing to head to the University of Tennessee on a full scholarship to study to be a mechanical engineer, but his world was turned upside down one day.

On the way home from church, Ben was in a serious car accident. Ben suffered significant injuries from the accident, but the biggest issue became the PTSD causing him to recall the accident time and time again. Furthermore as he was dealing with his back injury, Ben became addicted to pain pills and started to have a deteriorating mental health.

Ben’s mental health continued to decline as he started to have frequent mental breakdowns. Ben dropped out of school and moved back with his parents. During this time, he started dating an addict that led him to a drug addiction. In addition, Ben’s parents separated, which eventually resulted in Ben ending up in a mental hospital.

When Ben was leaving the mental hospital, he had nowhere to go. Ben faced a choice: life on the streets or going to Knox Area Rescue Ministries.

I was fresh out of the mental hospital. I thought my world was over, I was homeless with nothing.

For Ben, the decision was easy. He enrolled in KARM’s Berea program, where he found a safe space to deal with his issues.

I didn’t realize how much I had shut down. The program gave me a place and faith to start reengaging socially and gain a sense of self-worth by working. I was contributing instead of taking.

Because of you, Ben was able to realize and begin dealing with his problems. He has now stabilized his life and is considering going back to school to finish his mechanical engineering degree.