“I became a heroin addict and fought it for 30 years,” Lance admits, remembering how he lost jobs, home, even family over his pain and addiction. “I was homeless a lot of times,” Lance says, and he was always isolated. “I hated myself so much that I couldn’t love anybody,” he remembers. “And I was ashamed about being a heroin addict for 25-plus years. I didn’t ever want to tell anybody . . . but it was my story,” he admits.
When Lance finally hit bottom, serving time in jail, he also found out about a place where he could find the peace and purpose he’d lost: at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. “Everybody was talking about how this place rebuilds broken lives,” he remembers. “Then I came here, and you learn about Jesus’ love,” he marvels. “And you learn to put Him first and love your neighbors. So I was like, ‘wow, I have a chance at this! God does love me.’ It’s the first time I felt unconditional love.” “I know angels are all around us at the Mission, from those who give to the ones who volunteer. It’s amazing what I see today, and what I feel!” he says. “I love the Mission. It saved my life!”