Mike the Bag Man


One day, while in his car, Mike saw his reflection in the rear view mirror clearly for the first time in years. “I knew my life was out of control,” he says. “I was the only one in the car, but I said out loud, ‘God help me. Help me get out of this madness.’ A day and a half later, I was arrested. But as I say, I was rescued.” Mike knew that without help, he’d never escape addiction. From jail, he contacted the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission and was offered a spot after he was released.

That was 12 years ago, and it was the turning point in his life. “The Mission is a great, wonderful program. You learn about beginning a relationship with God and Jesus Christ, which is instrumental. The Mission is by far the best drug and alcohol rehabilitation program there is in California.” Mike has been clean and sober since he graduated from our program over a decade ago. But it wasn’t only the foundation of Jesus or the recovery aspect that changed Mike’s life, he also learned the skills necessary to live life and have a successful business in the Learning Center. After leaving, he started a business that is thriving.

In fact, you may have heard of Mike or seen him around town – everyone calls him “Mike the Bag Man” because that’s the name of his company which distributes restaurant supplies and paper products – including paper and plastic bags of all kinds. “The one thing that helped me in my business was learning about the computer, learning Excel at the Mission.” Mike knows that he is where he is today thanks to God’s grace.