In 2020 Terrell moved from his home state of Illinois to California in hopes of starting a new career and new life. But COVID changed all of that.
Terrell found himself alone in a new state with no job and no plan B. Looking to fill the void of being lost and with no direction, Terrell found himself with out-of-control spending habits and addicted to cocaine. “I didn’t grow up doing drugs,” he said. “My high school years were good. I had a great childhood.”
Even with no history of drug use, the addiction to cocaine took over and led him to homelessness. While looking for a meal and a place to stay, Terrell found help through Food on Foot, a program that feeds and clothes the homeless. They directed him to the Rescue Mission Alliance San Fernando Valley. They told him about the program being Christian based and that got Terrell’s attention. “I grew up going to church with my family,” he said.
When Terrell showed up to the Mission’s men’s program, Renewed Hope, he came with just the clothes on his back and a few things in his pockets. “When Terrell arrived he barely spoke a word,” said Hayden Roush, program manager. “He seemed to be so lost in his life journey, he didn’t know where to begin whenever he was asked to open up.”
Life had taken a toll on Terrell. “The first days when I got there, I just slept,” he said. “I needed rest and they allowed me to do that.”
As the weeks went on, Terrell continued to meet with Hayden and slowly started to open up. “I don’t like talking about myself so that’s been hard, but I do like to pray,” he said.
“As he renewed his relationship with the Lord, the light couldn’t help but keep shining out into the world through Terrell’s smile.”
— Hayden Roush, Renewed Hope Program Manager
Hayden added: “He went up and down the campus driveway, whenever he had time, day and night, simply talking to the Lord. As time went on, Terrell slowly began to share what he found God to be saying to him and from there, his counselors would guide him into passages of Scripture.”
The guidance and prayer that Terrell has received is restoring his soul and changing his disposition. Terrell was so burdened without direction or hope that he rarely smiled. “Over time, Terrell’s smile came to be a constant around campus no matter at group, at thrift, day or night,” Hayden said. “As he renewed his relationship with the Lord, the Light of the Lord couldn’t help but keep shining out into the world through his smile.”
The classes and staff have encouraged Terrell in his relationship with God and he can see a change within himself. “My patience has grown and I’m trying not to rush things,” he said, adding that he is thankful that he has his family’s support. “My relationship with my family is strong. I never asked for money or stole from them.”
Terrell encourages anyone that is needing to find restoration and recovery from addiction to seek out a place like the Mission. “The spiritual side is what’s helping me and it is peaceful,” he said. “Everyone has helped – praying for me and things like that.”
While Terrell is looking forward to graduation his main goal is to continue to grow in his relationship with God and focus on his recovery.