Fifteen-year-old Ray was trying to find shelter under the roof overhang of a restaurant one rainy evening. Then the manager “shooed me away like you shoo away a dog. ‘Get out of here, I don’t want you here,’” Ray recalled the manager saying. “And I remember that’s when I had to choose between two garbage cans of what I was going to sleep in.”
Ray’s story goes from an abusive childhood, to diagnosis with bipolar disorder, to gangs, drugs, and life on the street. But it also contains faith and hope. Today Ray is a Christian with a loving family who has worked as an advocate for the homeless who are suffering from a mental illness.
Ray is the guest this week on Shaping Families radio program related to the issue of homelessness and mental illness. His story is documented in Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness documentary and in a radio spot series that earned a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television, both produced by Third Way Media, which also produces Shaping Families. It airs every week on 15 local radio stations and online at www.ShapingFamilies.com.
Third Way Media is a ministry of Mennonite Mission Network.