Brandon Rucker is sober, has a good job, and has restored relationships after coming to the Rescue Mission
I came to the Ogden Rescue Mission after an Adult Probation and Parole (AP&P) officer suggested the New Life Program could help me and keep me out of jail.
That recommendation changed my life in so many ways. It has allowed me to become clean and sober for 14 months now, and has helped me reunite with my two sons, ages 19 and 16, and my ex-wife, who is their mother. Before I came to the Rescue Mission, none of them wanted anything to do with me. I was even able to attend my oldest son’s graduation from Ogden High School and enjoy playing online video games with my sons. Their mother and I get along again and spend time together repairing and refurbishing older phones and computers. It’s been a radical change since I was arrested and charged with two felonies in the fall of 2022.
My life had been going well up until my arrest. I was working as a welder at a Northern Utah company that makes quality outdoor equipment like basketball hoops and picnic tables. I had my own apartment, which was important for me, since I have struggled with homelessness on and off since the age of 22, when I first started abusing alcohol and drugs.
But then something strange happened. I contracted COVID and I don’t know or not if I started using drugs or alcohol again, but I lost about a week from my memory. The next thing I remember was being arrested for breaking into a restaurant. To this day, I am not sure why I broke into the restaurant. I don’t know if I was seeking shelter or wanted money or food.
I was charged with two felonies and lost my job and my apartment. That’s when the AP&P officer suggested I get help at the Ogden Rescue Mission. He said they had a 13-month program that could help people like me who had struggled with homelessness, addiction, and had legal issues. While I had lived in and around Ogden since Fourth Grade, I knew nothing about the Rescue Mission, but faced with the choice of jail or prison, I chose the Rescue Mission.
THE HELP I NEEDED
At the Mission, the Genesis Process educational curriculum helped me communicate things that I had buried inside for a long time. Deep hurts that I now believe were the reasons I turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. Even when I couldn’t speak about some of my wounds, the curriculum allowed me to write things down. I was able to write things that I wouldn’t tell anybody and getting that out on paper helped.
As I went to Bible studies and other classes at the Mission, I discovered that I was not the only one going through the same things. Before, I was leaving myself alone on an island because I thought I was the only one struggling with painful past experiences. The Mission helped me realize I wasn’t alone. I came to understand that keeping things inside was more painful than sharing them with others who could relate.
The Bible studies at the Mission were not like anything I was used to in the church I attended as a child. I still feel like I have a lot to learn about God and the Bible, but I do feel like God has helped me so much. It’s hard for me to express exactly how God has helped me, but I see the evidence of His help in my restored family relationships and sobriety.
EMPLOYMENT AND A FUTURE
For my two felonies I spent no time in jail and my AP&P officer is recommending early probation termination so I can be released from supervision and eventually have my charges expunged. I have been able to save up about $2,500 working as a mechanic during the employment phase of the New Life Program, however, I am looking for a more stable job now. It will be hard for me to find an apartment, given my two recent felonies, but I am working towards finding a place of my own and getting my driver’s license and a car.
Please pray that God would lead me to the right place to live and the right job and that He would continue to guide my steps as I prepare to leave the Rescue Mission in the next few months. Thank you so much for supporting the Ogden Rescue Mission, which has helped so much to restore my life, my family relationships, and enabled me to talk about my past hurts. Please know your support does not help just me, but the lives of so many others who I have seen come through the Mission’s doors during my time on the New Life Program.