Dakota grew up in a home where both parents battled alcohol and drugs, and it wasn’t long before he developed a curiosity, which was satisfied when his father introduced him to methamphetamine as a teenager. For a year and a half after that pivotal moment, Dakota shot heroin and became addicted to meth.
At fourteen, Dakota started working and by seventeen, still a child but living like an adult, he had a house and a truck and was about to be married. But since being introduced to the needle, his addiction took over. He lost everything and was soon surviving from one homeless shelter to another.
“I had reached a point of desperation where I could not do anything for myself right…” says Dakota. Staying at a homeless shelter in Kansas City, Missouri, he realized he couldn’t figure things out on his own, so he desperately prayed, begging for God’s help. Within days, a complete stranger staying in the same shelter bought him a bus ticket and he was soon on his way to St. Louis, Missouri, to begin a new life.
Shortly after arriving in St. Louis, Dakota went to the St. Louis Dream Center, an inner-city outreach of Joyce Meyer Ministries, where he met Pastor Kendrick and immediately felt a sense of peace. As director of the Genesis Men’s Home, a residential twelve-month discipleship program, Pastor Kendrick accepted Dakota as a resident on the spot. Soon after, for the very first time, Dakota publicaly acknowledged Jesus as His Lord and Savior. He was even able to reach out to his dad, the one who had introduced him to drugs in the first place.
Seeing Dakota free from his addiction sparked something in his dad—he, too, wanted to be free. Now, both men are part of the Genesis Men’s Home, and Dakota and his dad are pursuing God together having discovered life free from drugs and alcohol. Dakota says, “I believe that without loving others and helping others – I am nothing.”