“There is no part of my experience that God can’t use. Whether it’s the trauma from my childhood, my drug addiction, my time in jail, none of them are off limits to God’s redemptive power.” -Art Wilson
Art is the director of the Men’s Shelter here at the Mission. He’s a pretty chill guy, with his long beard and multiple tattoos, and men in the program really look up to him.
Do you know why Art is good at his job? He can empathize with the homeless, because he was once homeless himself.
Art started out with some disadvantages. His parents were alcoholics. There was a lot of chaos and fighting in his home. Art started doing drugs in 6th grade, moving to harder drugs in middle school, finally dropping out of school altogether in the 10th grade and just running the streets.
As an adult, he ended up at People’s City Mission, where he was given a place to stay and pointed towards resources to get his life back on track. He eventually found a job and an apartment but kept making poor decisions and ended up back at the Mission. That’s when he decided to do something different with his life.
In rehab, Art looked to a higher power to help overcome his addictions. That’s when he found Christ. He found hope. Everything finally made sense – even his pain. Instead of trying to get rid of it, he could work through it with the help of others and Christ.
Art wanted to give hope and joy to people who were in the same situation he had been in before. He became an intern at the Mission and started volunteering, then working part time, then full time. Today, as the Men’s Shelter Director, he is in charge of the same area he used to sleep in when he was a guest here.
“Some of these guys have been around here since when I was a guest here and they see what God has done in my life. And I get to share with them how God has brought me through all that stuff. That’s the key to what we do here, is that we offer them hope. And believers, we have that. We have Christ. We have what they’re looking for. And unless we get out and share that, they may never know. You don’t have to go out and change the world. You just have to show up and let God do the rest.”
If you’d like to watch more of Art’s story, check out this video from Lincoln Berean Church.
Just know when you support People’s City Mission, you are helping folks like Art find a place of hope, and also a home. Did you know that we house over 80% of the homeless in Lincoln? And the majority of the homeless here find permanent housing through our programs. In 2019 we put 304 people in long-term housing and 277 in permanent housing. When you give to PCM, you are helping most of the homeless in Lincoln. To help us through Give To Lincoln, go here for more information: Give To Lincoln for PCM
Blessings, Pastor Tom