Kevin McDonnell

"So often people assume that the homeless person they see on the street probably had a bad start to life. Perhaps he was born into a broken home, perhaps she was abused as a little girl, perhaps his dad beat his mom and that's why he started drinking. Statistically, this is normally true. But there are plenty of folks who wind up out on the streets who had a decent start to life.

Kevin McDonell had what most would call a good relationship with his parents. He grew up in Philadelphia, where he lived until his early twenties. He joined the Air Force and fought in the first Gulf War. He worked as an EMT for several years. A sensitive man, Kevin decided to leave that line of work because he was beginning to grow so very hard. "The people I worked with scared me," he said. "I got to the point where I didn't care if you lived or died. You get that way after seeing too much."

All the way along, he drank. "I was never a heavy drinker, but no matter what I just couldn't quit," he said. He fell out with his parents, and was kicked out of the house. That is when he decided to clean up. First he went to the Salvation Army, but after leaving there he was homeless. He then came to the Mission, where he lives today.

Kevin says the difference between the Sunday Breakfast Mission and other recovery programs is the emphasis on the Bible and the sense of family. "I know people think they really drill this stuff into you, but he works," he says, in reference to the emphasis on daily Bible reading. Between that and the staff who are always available, men and women like Kevin are getting a second chance.

“[Sunday Breakfast Mission is] a place to deal with my past, anger issues, and to learn how to cope.”

—Archie, Program Participant

“This is a safe haven where men can come closer to God and heal.”

—Don Laws, Program Participant