“Don’t ask me a question if you don’t want to hear the truth.”
At 78 years old, Gus Gilliam is plain-spoken and frank. Your generosity has employed Gus at the Mission for 21 years; he picks up food donations five mornings a week. Gus drives the largest truck, which was purchased with your investment in our Food Distribution Center. He is regularly accompanied by one of the residents of our men’s recovery program. When they meet Gus at 7:00 a.m., they are prepared to help load boxes of donated food items, but they may not be prepared for what Gus has for them. He frequently offers nuggets of wisdom like, “If you don’t have faith, get yourself some faith. We can’t change you; only you and God can change you.”
Doug is one resident who is with us because of your support. He says, “Gus talks a lot about life: getting away from your old life and starting your new life. He’s big on staying away from your old life. He doesn’t take a lot of foolishness when we’re out there; he takes his job seriously. He has sacrificed his life for the Mission.”
After Gus got out of jail 22 years ago, his probation officer evaluated Gus’ situation. “You’re not a bad guy; you’ve just gotten in with some bad people and developed some bad habits. How are you with religion?” Gus told him he had grown up in church, so the probation officer drove him here. He went through the yearlong recovery program and has been sober ever since. Your support still provides hope to men like Gus.
Blake, another resident who rides with Gus says, “He’s real. Many people just talk nonsense, but Gus tells it like it is. He’s been to jail; he’s been through the Program and made it. It helps to hear from a guy like that.”
Carlton Hill, Director of the Changed Life Recovery Program, describes Gus this way: “He’s seen it all and done it all; he’s seen everything come through this program.” We at the Mission are thankful, not only for Gus but for you, because you impact lives every day through Gus.