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A past of addiction turns to outreach

A former homeless man uses his battle with addiction to connect and help others find a way out from

Posted: January 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Volunteers come together to make sandwiches and pack lunches for those in need. McCutcheon and his team of volunteers use the trailer as a base for their homeless outreach. Volunteers offer others in need a warm meal and a smile. In addition, clothing, canned food and hygiene supplies are also passed out.

Nick Goeigemiller had been homeless for nearly a year. He was an alcoholic, drinking more than a fifth of vodka every night, and was experimenting with other drugs when he finally turned to Mike McCutcheon for help.

McCutcheon would offer him food, being careful not to give him cash for fear he would spend it on alcohol. Sometimes he would take Goeigemiller with him to pass out food and clothing to other homeless men and women.

Eventually, after Goeigemiller became sober, McCutcheon helped him find a full-time job and permanent housing. A change which saved his life.

“I knew God was watching out for me,” he said about his experience waking up from benders. “He showed me the path to sober up.”

Now, Goeigemiller is one of many volunteers trained by McCutcheon to serve others.

The group ventures into the wash every week inviting the homeless back to different parking lots where a trailer is set up ready to provide a hot meal, new clothes, canned food items and other personal hygiene supplies.

McCutcheon spent the past four years helping the homeless and people with drug and alcohol addictions find a fresh start.

He initially began his outreach in the San Fernando Valley when he became aware of a growing problem in Santa Clarita‑- heroin. He decided to move his outreach to help fight the growing epidemic.

“I’m genuinely concerned about their lifestyle,” said McCutcheon about his outreach. “I can relate to how they feel, desperation, loneliness, feeling of unworthiness and an idea that nothing will change.”

After nearly a year serving Santa Clarita, Real Life Church discovered his unique outreach and wanted to get on board by offering assistance and support.

A generous donation by a kind church member gave McCutcheon the opportunity to buy the trailer which is used as the base of his homeless outreach. The trailer stores many of the necessary supplies which are offered to countless homeless people weekly.

Gene Schreiner, 51, has been volunteering with the group for the past few months and says it has changed his outlook on the homeless.

“It’s helped me realize what a huge segment of the population is out there that is underserved,” said Schreiner.

Understanding Addiction

Many call McCutcheon an angel. With the help of an anonymous donor, he helped Michelle, a young homeless girl with more than 80 percent hearing loss in both ears, finally get hearing aids.

McCutcheon has a unique insight into helping the homeless and drug addicted, he too battled an addiction for the better part of 30 years.

“I did AA where they talk about surrendering to a higher power,” said McCutcheon. “For a long time my higher power was drugs.”

McCutcheon recounted, his way out was meeting a compassionate person who introduced him to God. He credits his relationship with Christ as the reason for the change in his lifestyle and release from addiction.

“What God did in my life I know he can do in other lives,” he said. “When I talk to these kids they know I’ve been there and understand.”

Juan Martinez, 22, was overcome by drug addiction, turning to theft and other crimes after leaving home. After becoming homeless, someone put him in touch with McCutcheon who helped him find a rehab home.

“Mike was like the light of hope for me,” said Martinez.

Martinez now holds a full-time schedule with school and work and has moved on to a transition house.
“I tell people there is recovery,” said McCutcheon. “Their lives can change and it does get better, there is hope.”

For more information contact Mike McCutcheon at (818) 849-2486 or visit



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