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Troubled Men Emerge Victorious in the End

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DURHAM — Two years ago the Durham Rescue Mission began a program to help troubled and sometimes homeless men get back on their feet. The Victory program already has several graduates. This week, eight men felt the thrill of victory themselves, and they have a diploma to show for it.

"I got hooked up in drugs and alcohol," says program graduate, Julius Williams. "I lost hope, you know?"

"Here's a structured program," explains Terry Slade, another graduate of the Victory Program. "It teaches you to be obedient to rules and to home yourself down and follow the authority that is placed over you."

Rescue Mission Executive Directory Ernie Mills tell the graduates that they've completed the Victory Program, but have yet to win the ultimate victory. That's a "lifetime of walking with the Lord."

"They [taught] me some things I never knew, you know?" Williams explains. "I learned how much Jesus Christ loves me."

Knowing that is what's important, according to Mills. He makes sure the graduates know that not everyone is going to treat them right.

"It's a program where we take them in, and we run them through a six month of Bible training and job related training," says Victory Program Director Carl Pleasants.

"They're teaching us that when we go back out, that we'll be able to be responsible human beings instead of doing what we want to do when we do it," Slade says. "My wife just leased a house in High Point. We've been separated for the last five years. God has reunited us, and I'm moving back to High Point."

Williams admits the program gave him reason for living again. It made him look for a future.

The Durham Rescue Mission also has an eight month program for young single mothers called Opportunity Place.