Marquise’s grandmother died. She was the rock, the glue, the force that held their family together. While she lived, she took him to church, but when she died it was as if everything died with her. Her death hurt him deeply. Marquise told me, “When my grandmother died, no men in the family stepped up. There were no role models. Our family simply fell apart.”

MarquiseMarquise began smoking weed and got involved with the wrong crowd. He knew deep down that they would get him into trouble, and his intuition proved correct. Someone called the police and falsely reported that Marquise and his friends had a gun. Their car was spotted and pulled over by the police. Guns drawn and pointed at Marquise’s head, they ordered him to not even blink an eyelash. He wisely complied. No guns were found, but he was arrested for possession of marijuana. His arrest was a wakeup call.

Even then, he hit rock bottom and was homeless. For four years he wandered the streets with no purpose, yet he knew this was not the life he was meant to live. He told me, “I always knew, from the time my grandmother took me to church, that God had a plan for my life.” Marquise determined he was going to do something
about his life.

He moved to Vegas with his mom and got a few part-time jobs, and he earned enough to get back on his feet and make his way back to Fresno. After his return, he met two Hope Now counselors, and he believed God was opening a new chapter in his life.

Marquise is unique from many of the young men we help; he knows his life is worth something, and he has self-respect. He also knows he has a long way to go, but he has a dream to own his own real estate company.

I was encouraged as I spoke with Marquise. It was refreshing to create a bond and love for a 22-year-old young man who, while still struggling, has wisdom and can see his life moving forward. He is a positive person who needs a hand up, not a hand out. Please pray for Marquise. His world is difficult to break out of.

Marquise wants to be a man who steps up. I believe he will.

Thank you for your support.

Roger Feenstra
Executive Director