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One of Renewed Hope’s first grads now employed by the program
Vince is proud to say that he is one of the first graduates of the Mission’s men’s program, Renewed Hope. When he entered in September 2019, he wasn’t sure what the future held. But now, as a graduate and current employee, Vince is excited about what’s next.
“I never had a foundation and the program provided me one,” Vince said. “Through counseling, I was able to work on myself. I learned that I had walls up and needed to let them down and open up to people. I learned that it was OK to ask for help and to let others help when needed.”
Vince grew up with his parents and three brothers, graduated high school and attended college for a while at Humboldt State. After taking a course at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School and apprenticing at the Bel Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades, Vince went on to work for one of the first upscale restaurants in Santa Monica. But after a few years, Vincent felt the need to get “a real job,” he said, and ended up going to work for Los Angeles County Public Works. He got married and worked for the County, operating heavy equipment, for 16 years.
After a series of trials, including getting injured on the job, separating from his wife, and two of his brothers’ sudden deaths, Vince started struggling. A major rent hike and an increase in his drinking, left Vince on streets for over a year.
Vincent attended the Mission’s shower program in Woodland Hills on Mondays where he learned about Renewed Hope. “I was getting tired of the streets and dealing with all these people all around me, doing drugs, selling drugs,” he said. “Being homeless (is hard). If you don’t have an address, it’s not an easy life. Finding work is impossible.”
Vince had a heart procedure while in the program and fully recovered at Renewed Hope. “The program is really remarkable,” he said. “Being here brings this true understanding of who you are as a human being, and what you can accomplish as a recovering person, with God. You develop a fellowship. We talk about our issues, what’s bugging us. There is a lot of spiritual wellbeing. I don’t feel scared or afraid.”
After graduation, Vince entered the transitional living program. He started managing the shower program where he first got acquainted with Renewed Hope. He’s now employed as a driver. “I enjoy working here because the staff is wonderful and friendly,” he said. “I hope to be a part of the (Renewed Hope) family for a long time.”
Vince also said the fellowship helped him tremendously. “I’m happy, and I’m proud of myself,” he said. “I think of the personal growth that I accomplished while being in the program. I’m happy I made the decision to come.”
As for anyone considering entering the program, Vince said it was the best decision he’s made. “The program can change your life for the better if you can stick it out (in the beginning). I’m happy to be one of the first graduates out of this new program, and I feel like Renewed Hope will continue to change lives for the better in the community.”
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