Carlo had a turbulent childhood marked by physical and sexual abuse. When he was just 11 years old, his father beat him to the point of hospitalization. Scared and alone, he ran away from his home in Texas to Pensacola, Florida in search of his mother and siblings.

The hope of a joyous reunion he had longed for was dashed when he finally found his mom and she revealed they were homeless. 

“I can’t even afford to feed your brothers and sisters, I don’t know how you can expect me to feed you too!”

Carlo had no choice but to work to make enough money to eat, and eventually he got into trouble and was forced to return to Texas to be with his dad.

As a teenager he began to work with his dad in organized crime, making his money dealing cocaine – which eventually landed him in prison.

In spite of all these challenges, Carlo changed his life after being released from prison. He got married and started his own company. Together he and his wife had 4 children and life seemed wonderful! That all came crashing down when his father ordered a hit on his brother. The trauma of losing someone he loved so much – and the repeated betrayal of his father led him back into addiction.

For nearly 30 years, Carlo lived in his addiction. And it cost him everything.

In 2019, Carlo took a bus to Tucson, and landed at Gospel Rescue Mission after a heart attack threatened his life.

“Without Gospel Rescue Mission, I would be dead.”

At the Mission, Carlo learned to take responsibility for his actions and stopped blaming others for his problems. Here he found hope, restoration, a love for his family, and community eager to support him through his recovery.

Carlo believes so strongly in the effectiveness of Gospel Rescue Mission’s faith-based Recovery Program that he has dedicated his life to the ministry. As a current staff member in Guest Services, he now has the opportunity to help others who are struggling.

“It’s about helping others. The fact of the matter is, all these guests that I serve every day, I need them more than they need me. That’s the truth… and I’m truly grateful.”