Curtis Patterson, a veteran serving eight years in the United States army, started working for the Military’s PX system in Japan when he attended an AA meeting that would change his life forever. In this AA meeting, Curtis was given cassette tapes about Clancy Imislund, the leading pioneer who introduced the 12-step philosophy to The Midnight Mission. Curtis was instantly hooked and decided to call Clancy. As they talked, he became enthusiastic about Clancy’s suggestion to come down to The Midnight Mission. Thus, in 2006, Curtis decided to leave Japan to start volunteering at The Midnight Mission.

As he volunteered at The Midnight Mission, Curtis realized how much he enjoyed helping the homeless community. He grew such an immense passion that he didn’t end up pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician, even though he had the proper licensing to do so. Instead, in 2011, Curtis was hired as The Midnight Mission’s Recovery & Courtyard Healthy Living Advocate, a role he continues to hold today.

Curtis is essentially in charge of guiding anyone who comes to The Midnight Mission seeking help. He helps the homeless find housing agencies, while supplying homeless verification documents to housing authorities. Additionally, he gives referrals to medical organizations, sets up appointments for general relief, and provides DMV vouchers to receive ID cards at affordable costs. Curtis also advocates the Healthy Living Program, where addicts completely eliminate drug use and focus on keeping their mind, body, and spirit in sync.

Continuing to work at The Midnight Mission, Curtis has come to realize the impact he has been making, as past guests often pay visits to thank him for all his help and support. It is moments like these where Curtis feels he is serving his life’s purpose. Curtis has also noticed how much The Midnight Mission has allowed him to grow as a person. As he witnesses firsthand the struggles and hardships community members face, Curtis stands firm in maintaining his sobriety for 20 plus years now.

Working directly with the community, Curtis has gained a sense of compassion and understanding about homelessness. His experience in consistently being approached by people who carry deeply rooted emotions and issues has allowed him to develop an ability to instill a sense of calm and reassurance to those around him. He has learned the importance of treating everyone he encounters with respect. Curtis is always determined to be of service, regardless of how difficult a client or their situation might be.

Curtis remains happy working at The Midnight Mission. He says, “Midnight Mission’s long arm of compassion reached me when I was 10,000 miles away. I was hooked and continue to be hooked.”

Written by: Berenice Famili