When I first met Ronald late last year, he was in crisis. He had been recently evicted due to his ongoing struggles with severe mental illness and active addiction. He was less than a year removed from his last prison sentence, and again he found himself living on the streets.

With no steady source of income, friends, or family, Ronald had no escape.

I talked with Ronald regularly over the course of about two weeks. We laughed together, shared our dreams, and talked politics. Eventually, our conversations turned towards God. “I believe in God,” Ronald shared, “but I could never go to church.”

I pressed further.

“Why would God want me? I’m an abomination.” He actually used that term, ‘abomination,’ an identity that I doubt he came to on his own.

My heart breaks for Ronald. He needs a home. He needs income. He needs to get back on the path to recovery. But above all else, he needs to understand that he is far from an ‘abomination.’ 

Barnabas House will be a home for people like Ronald, a supportive environment that welcomes the formerly incarcerated back into our community, provides care, and shows love. The need is great, and together we have the opportunity to change the lives of Philadelphia’s returning citizens. Click the button to learn more about how you donate, volunteer, or join us today!