The work we do at the Orange County Rescue Mission requires unique individuals to answer the call and carry out the cause of serving the least, the last and the lost. The miracles that we get to witness in the lives of broken men, women and children are no shortage of evidence that God is at work here. The exceptional element is that although this is God’s work, He chooses to use all of us ordinary and even unqualified people to carry out these stories on a daily basis. In light of celebrating our successes, I also hope to celebrate the men and women that selflessly serve on the Orange County Rescue Mission’s staff to make the successes possible.
This month I am thrilled to applaud OCRM’s Admissions Manager, Doug Hellman, as our Employee of the Month.
Where one of OCRM’s key core values is “Inspiration of hope to those we serve,” Doug inspires others with his own life and testimony. We encourage those we serve by being a witness to how Jesus has breathed new life into us. We encourage a faith that Jesus will meet all our needs as He has met all our needs and Doug lives this in his own testimony and his interactions with our student residents – especially those who are brokenhearted.
As Doug has served as OCRM’s Admissions Manager for the past two years, I am happy to share some of his story and background with you through his own words in this interview.
I came to know Christ at Mainplace Christian Fellowship and I still worship there with my family.
A wife of 23 years; four kids; and a two-year old granddaughter.
Life Before the Mission
When Doug was 35, he was homeless for two months because of an 18-year addiction to meth. His marriage and family were destroyed due to what he describes as “addiction and selfishness.” However, through God’s direction and fellowship, his family was restored into the greatness and wholeness it is today.
“Living in a car, I know what that’s like. I lived in a drain cleaning van. You’re not getting a good night’s sleep, and you’re usually high,” said Doug.
On April 15, 2015, he will celebrate 15 years of sobriety through Celebrate Recovery.
After he began Celebrate Recovery, Doug was able to graduate from a recovery program and went back to school to became drug/alcohol counselor. From there he worked in the secular industry as a drug and alcohol counselor.
About Being an Admissions Manager
“I just thought I was going to bring people in,” says Doug. “I had no idea what God had in store for me since taking this position but it has been blessing after blessing. When I went back to school, I wanted to help men my age. Now, I get to work in soul recovery for homelessness, which doesn’t discriminate against anybody, so when an applicant comes to interview with me I never know what I’m going to hear but I know God can fix it.”
“I talk to people who are homeless due to the economy, bad choices, drug and alcohol addiction, toxic family, domestic violence and people who are simply thrown away. God takes us and makes us all whole again.”
“A gentleman who moved in during the pouring rain a few weeks ago had been corresponding with me through the mail from County jail. When I interviewed him it was like I was interviewing myself when I was 35. When I told him he was accepted into the program, he broke down and cried and he said that no man had ever told him that he has been accepted.”
“God has given me great responsibility by working for OCRM as their Admissions Manager helping the least, the last and the lost. I get to see God work. God can use anybody in creation, but God chose me.”
I thank God for the opportunity to serve his kingdom at OCRM.
What Does a Bad Day Look Like?
On a bad day I get cussed out, yelled at and get told that I’m awful from people who we can’t serve here in our program. But the good days far outweigh the bad days.
How Has Wild at Heart Changed You?
Wild at Heart changed my life and made my recovery skyrocket. I finally know what caused me to do the self-destructive things I had done in my life. The self-discovery was incredible and I established friends and fellowship like never before with other men.
For What are You Most Proud?
100% occupancy – it was so hard to achieve, we’d get there for a day and then someone would leave. I have inherited about 78% to 93% to 101%, should be 103-04%.
I implemented the large group CR here at VOH – A year’s worth of discussion and prayer with a volunteer friend of mine US Grant knowing the need, seeing the ministry and how it has the potential to transform lives. Brought it up to President’s Cabinet and we kicked off in December 2013 with our first meeting. Today we have three women who lead in worship, two students who run audio/visual, and five students who lead open share groups. This is a village effort and that’s what I wanted it to be.
What Do you Do Outside of Work?
I enjoy playing with my granddaughter. I also have a relative in prison who you visit once in awhile who has helped start two Celebrate Recovery groups on the inside.
Passions: I would love to travel and see places, built structure or natural just to see what God has been able to do through the work of others, I would like to walk where Jesus walked
Congratulations to Doug! I am so thankful for his heart and dedication to serving the love of Jesus Christ to everyone he meets.