Travis grew up with drugs, alcohol, and violence. He was only nine the first time he started using. “My dad was physically and verbally abusive,” he says. “My early childhood was full of violence and drugs, and I developed PTSD that still affects me today.”
He was able to get clean for a while, until he found his mother dead from a heroin overdose. “The shock of discovering her body caused a mental breakdown which brought me right back to drugs and alcohol,” he remembers. Travis says that after his mother’s death, his life became a tornado of destruction. “I was dying inside, cycling between homelessness and incarceration.”
Desperate for help, Travis came straight to the Mission from jail. He had nothing but the clothes on his back, but he knew in the depths of his soul that he had to be here. He was so determined and even ready to sleep on our doorstep until we let him in. Of course, we were glad to help. It was here that Travis says he learned what a changed life actually looks like. He thought he’d had a relationship with God before, but at the Mission he discovered he was missing who God really is. “I thought that because I had a conception of God that it was the same as a connection,” Travis says. “I was in the same room as God, following God around, and within arm’s length, but I still wasn’t connected.”
Travis has a full-time job, has moved into a sober living home, is making amends with his family, and rebuilding relationships with the daughters he thought he’d lost. “The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission saves lives. They saved mine!” Travis says.