Max knew he was going to die from addiction if he didn’t get help . . . CityTeam provided him with community and a place to heal.
“I was on a collision course with either death or prison,” says Max.
He was headed down a road he never thought he would go down — one of addiction, homelessness, and broken family relationships. Up until age 28, Max had lived a normal life. But then, hard drug use got a grip on him.
“If I wasn’t crashing on a friend’s couch, I was living in a storage container on a friend’s property,” says Max. “I stole almost everything I needed and was just a non- functioning member of society.”
Soon, Max found himself facing his first prison sentence. It was behind bars that he began waking up to the condition of his life and felt God softening his heart. “I knew that I was going to die if I didn’t get treatment,” says Max.
GUIDED BY GOD
Max searched for recovery centers in the Midwest, where he was living at the time. But he kept getting put on waitlists. He was sitting in his car early one morning when Max remembered his dad graduated 11 years ago from a place called CityTeam.
Max found a YouTube video about a recovered addict who is now a director at CityTeam. Right when he finished watching, his dad called him to check in.
Max knew this was no coincidence. God was directing his steps. “He’s shown me how much he had planned for me the whole time.”
Before coming to CityTeam, Max says, “I just cared about myself and my addiction.” But now he cares about every person who walks through CityTeam’s doors.
“Once you have shelter, meals, and a community, you can address what’s going on with you,” says Max. “You can’t even begin to make progress if you’re constantly hungry, looking for somewhere to crash, or trying to get a fix.”
“If you would’ve told me seven months ago that I was going to be happy pursuing God and volunteering my time, I would’ve thought you were crazy,” says Max. “Now it’s an everyday part of my life. I’m radically changed.”
Max is surrounded by community, closer with his family than he’s ever been, and serving alongside people he loves with CityTeam’s outreach team. And he found a job he’s passionate about — helping the public transportation system assist people experiencing homelessness.
For Max, he needed these basic necessities to rebuild. He knows that without them, and without CityTeam, he would’ve overdosed or gone to prison.
A meal might seem small, but it makes a life-changing impact.
“And one of the truest ways you can show someone you love them is by feeding them.”
“This place exists to help people change their lives,” he says.