by Mike Vorhees
I was homeless for fifteen years and have struggled with alcohol and drugs for more than twenty years. When I say homeless, I mean living under bridges, sleeping on the streets, and along the river bank. I had no faith or coping skills and reality did not seem real. Life is different for me today and it all began to change one night in the winter of 2002. I met Bob Ukovic and Deacon Joe from St. Paschal’s, while they were volunteering with a group for outside homeless people.
This interaction went on for many years. I would look forward to meeting up with them weekly. They would bring me a warm meal and clothing, and have conversations and prayer time with me. Their actions really began giving me self-worth and hope. I then started meeting new people from St. Paschal’s on their Knight Rider runs. I really saw God’s love as I watched them serve us with understanding and love. Their actions encouraged me to better myself and become useful again.
For the last five years, I have been off the streets and living in an apartment overlooking Lake Erie. This was made possible by ministry members working with other resources and items donated by St Paschal parishioners. As I slowly brought my life back together, staying sober and listening to what God wants me to do, I realized I can help others who have been in my situation.
During the past two years, the Knight Riders group has allowed me to be a volunteer to help others. I have been humbled and honored to be a part of this ministry. I will be forever grateful for the love, hope and trust they have given me. They also showed me a Parish that is amazingly supportive and truly believe in the work they do. This means they believe in me! We are all God’s beautiful people. Thank you Clowns and Helping Hands Ministry and Saint Paschal Parish and the Blessed Sacrament for being the hands and feet of God.
If you would like to learn more about the homeless, I will have a video on the NEOCH website under Success Stories.
Copyright Cleveland Street Chronicle March 2017 Issue 24#1