I Prayed that God Would Kill Me
I know what homelessness is like. I lived on the streets for 10 years. Heat . . . cold . . . rain . . . it’s hard. But the worst part? Everyone looks at you with disgust, even though they don’t understand. They all had family and friends. I had no one. One time, even my own brother drove past me on the street. He just shook his head and kept driving.
It’s hard to blame them. I was a meth addict. And meth drove me all the way to the streets. Thanks to my addiction, I ended up sleeping in parks, schools, abandoned buildings, and sometimes I’d burn out so bad I’d just collapse on a sidewalk. I lived in constant fear of being robbed, mugged, or murdered.
Winter was the worst, especially when it rained. Some nights it got so cold and damp I thought I’d freeze to death. Some guys did. They’d freeze in the night and never wake up. Nights like that, I had to find some way to start a fire. Or just keep walking. I wanted to die. In fact, I often prayed that God would kill me. But He never did.
In October 2011, I finally got tired of it all and came to Union Rescue Mission. It’s the smartest thing I ever did, because that’s when I started reading the Bible. Through counseling and studying God’s Word, I heard God knocking at my heart and I opened it to Him. And today my life is completely changed.
I’ve learned that God gives everyone a gift. Mine is encouragement. So now I plan on going to college to be a drug counselor. There was a time I prayed to die. Now I pray to live to see how God will use me. I want to save the lives of guys like me.
Tonight, more than 57,000 people experiencing homelessness will struggle to survive the Los Angeles cold. Without shelter, they suffer from cold-related illnesses, vulnerability to predators and crime, and even death.
Your generous gift provides precious souls with nourishing meals, a warm bed, and life-transforming programs. Thank you for helping them get out of the cold this winter.
It’s a hard world for men and women experiencing homelessness. Last summer, we found a man lying in a pile of garbage across the street — he’d been dead for days.
During the wet, cold, winter months, an average of one man or woman dies on these streets every day.
This winter, we’re offering 120 extra beds every night the temperature drops below 40 degrees or whenever it rains. It may not seem like much, but it means a lot to the man or woman who gets a bed — and it just might save their life. Thank you for caring.
Rev. Andy Bales, CEO