Tucked just beyond a tree line off Highway 41, Ron Green had a decision to make. He was broke, addicted and hungry as he stayed in the woods near thousands of Cobb County residents who prospered. He could continue on a path of destruction or he could seek help and hope.
From age 17, Green found himself committed to a lifestyle of substance abuse, violence and gang-affiliation leading to several arrests, incarcerations and even a few overdoses. After years of addiction, he decided to make a change. He spent a year in a recovery center and became sober, but still had no place to call home.
In the summer of 2001, Green arrived at MUST Ministries' Elizabeth Inn Shelter with his wife and four young children…homeless, hungry and hopeless.
Because the Elizabeth Inn is a drug and alcohol-free campus, Green's sobriety finally allowed him and his family the luxury of a place to lay their heads at night. Now 42 years old, he still remembers the volunteers and case managers who helped him get back on his feet. "The MUST team members were refreshingly engaging and genuine. I didn't care how much they knew, I wanted to know how much they cared. They inserted belief in me and wanted to see me succeed," Green said.
Because of his calling to empower young people with his story, Green co-founded "Operation Snatch Back," a ministry dedicated to mentoring and inspiring people who have lost hope. Green and co-founder Monica Clarke have dedicated their lives to the cause. The pair speak regularly at engagements and offer mentoring and career coaching services.
For the past year, Green has dedicated two Mondays per month to speak to current Elizabeth Inn residents and others in need at MUST. "Motivating Mondays" is an avenue to uplift, inspire, encourage and motivate through lectures and hands-on exercises, Green said. He uses his powerful life story to impact people who are where he was years ago to do what he did: get help, accept that people believe in you and recognize your own potential.
"What a blessing to have a former client return to help others!" said Ike Reighard, MUST President and CEO. "Ron is able to connect with our clients on a special level. His understanding of the homeless mindset is a tremendous asset."