John Eric came to us when he felt like he had no other options left. Trauma and abuse throughout his childhood gripped his life. He sought answers for healing in temporary solutions and found himself in a losing battle with substance abuse. He had been homeless, finding shelter in places that weren’t livable. He had no job and no vehicle. He had no money. He was down to his last outfit. His relationships were broken. He didn’t have rights to see his kids. Feeling hopeless about his situation, John Eric struggled with sducidal thoughts. He found himself in the hospital, and was referred to Victory Mission, where he began to rebuild his life.

Among other areas of his life, John Eric previously had a horrible relationship with work. He struggled with his identity at his jobs. Most of John Eric’s work experience had been in the fast food industry, where customer service was important. John Eric shared, “I would get upset when the phone would ring.” He couldn’t find happiness in his work. He would find himself irritated, with little patience for people he served.

While at Victory Mission, John Eric became a Coffee Apprentice, and his feelings about work began to change. He began to worry less about things that were out of his control. He became more patient. Little things that once got under his skin didn’t irritate him so easily. Communication with others became a strength. He learned that he didn’t have to take the burden of work home at the end of the day. John Eric shares, “I was equipped with new tools to carry with me.”

He realized he had skills he could offer the workforce. The Coffee Apprenticeship prepared John Eric for what was next. He began working for SMC in Springfield, MO. Within six months, John Eric received his first promotion. John Eric expresses that he is able to work great hours. He now finds work to be fulfilling and enjoys the fast-paced environment that a manufacturing company has to offer. John Eric is able to use his high-energy to bring joy to his coworkers. His job allows him to financially support his four sons and has created space for them to develop a relationship again.

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