FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – “My job is to give them something that a lot of men and women don’t. And this is the opportunity to be loved.
This is how Victor Waters explains his ministerial work with people who are homeless, living in motels or recently released from prison. He works full time in the factory, but his ministry office is a bright orange camper that he himself restored. He named it The Freedom Trailer.
“I have had no financial support from the city, state or federal government. I took my own job and my own money and built this trailer because I believe in these people, because people believed in me.
Waters was in and out of prison from the age of 13. He attributes his turnaround to people like Daniel Schreck, the executive director of Experience free recovery. Waters says he was a gang leader. “I was terrible. I was what you would call a dark element in the streets. I constantly fought with the police. Now he has many policemen as friends and he uses his past as a force.
“When I talk to a gang member, when I talk to a drug dealer, when I talk to an addict, they understand me,” Waters says. “And I understand them because I’ve been where they are. My job is to keep going out and serving them, letting them know that you can change your life, you can build a different lifestyle, you can change your mindset, you can change your life so that it is better than it is today. “
Waters says the Freedom Trailer is normally parked at Joshua Temple, 4202 Hessen Cassel Rd. He often takes the trailer on his tours to some of the cheaper motels at both ends of Coliseum Blvd. He estimates that he knows 80% of the people who live there “for $ 24.99 a night.” The trailer’s clean and bright interior allows it to listen to people and have meaningful conversations. “We have hope here. Everything here means hope.
“Some of them are crying. Many of them are in so much pain… ”as her voice died down. “Most of them just want a job.” Waters has connections with area employers who are willing to hire people with criminal records. He remembers a married couple living in a motel when he met them, who now work and rent an apartment. “It brings me a lot of joy.”
Waters is hard to miss. He wears a bright orange prison outfit. “I put on this orange jumpsuit not to signify confinement, it is to signify freedom. This costume doesn’t have to limit you to anything.
He has plans to develop the ministry. He bought and gutted a Class C recreational vehicle that needs a lot of love. “It will be a mobile catering / soup kitchen unit, where we will go to all the hotels and feed the homeless. We don’t have the finances to do it, but we will try to raise the funds to do it. You will see: this will be the Freedom Trailer mobile catering unit. We take volunteers to help build it, to help finance it. We’re better together. “
He started a Come on, fund me page* to collect donations. His confidence is rock solid.
“When God told Noah to build the ark, he told him to build it because the storm was coming. I feel like he told me to build the freedom trailer so men and women know their storm is over.
*WANE.com does not guarantee that the sums or donations deposited into the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons designated as beneficiaries. If you are considering a donation, you should consult your own advisers and do otherwise at your own risk.