A Saving Grace: A story about second chances - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

A Saving Grace: A story about second chances

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley is helping people become clean, sober and prepared for employment. The work there is more than a job for supervisor Doug Gough, it is a way for him to give back.

The Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley is helping people become clean, sober and prepared for employment.The work there is more than a job for supervisor Doug Gough, it is a way for him to give back.

The heart of this home feeds bodies and minds daily.

Added to this shelter's menu is one man's mission to serve inspiration.

"It's wonderful, he's always on call. I don't know how he does it. He got a motor that won't quit," said Randy Bryant, a former client and current staff member.

Doug is a former car auction sales manager from Michigan who is now in the business of providing second chances.

He supervises more than 100 men at the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley.

The plight of the people here is personal to Doug because he was an addict too.

"I know what it's like to be lost," said Doug.

A little more than two years ago, Doug was flown to St. Elizabeth Health Center to recover from critical injuries. While under the influence of drugs and alcohol, he hit a cement truck head on in Lordstown.

"The most merciful thing that ever happened to me was a head on collision with a cement  truck and they'll say what is wrong with you, why would you say that, that's crazy and the answer is always the same. It's because it wasn't a minivan full of kids,"

When he was released from the hospital, there was no where for him to turn except onto Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard in front of the Mission.

"The taxi cab dropped me off and I'll never forget looking up at this place thinking it's over. It's just over."

The Mission's Discipleship Academy Coordinator, Pastor Terry Weyand, said "He was a wreck. When I first saw him when I came around that corner, you couldn't help but say wow what happened to you. He was broken, physically broken."

"I was smashed physically, mentally and emotionally," said Doug.

Doug underwent intensive outpatient therapy and Christian counseling, reconnected with his family, and found guidance in his newfound Christian faith.

Doug said "everybody who comes here, because they're just like me, they think it's over and really it's just the beginning. It can be just the  beginning and that's my message, the message of hope."

Doug is extremely proud of the residents under his watch.

Twenty-two men are currently enrolled in the Discipleship Academy and nine are taking college courses.

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