The Way started as a small mission.
Founder of The Way, Brian Purcell, started this organization from a desire to really help people beyond their requested physical need. He has learned from many personal experiences that the true need is deeper than what we see or hear. Brian wanted to help many types of people to turn their lives around and focus on positive things no matter what they had been through. The organization started as a small operation out of a suv that led to a bread truck and now it has grown to a store front stocked full of food and volunteers to help neighbors in need.
Being raised by a single parent (his Dad) Brian grew up poor and often saw his Dad working more then one job just to pay the rent and relying on food stamps to put food on the table. He saw that his Dad became dependent on help from the state to take care of his family. And being uneducated and illiterate, he was limited in ways to help his family break free from dependency.
As a product of his environment, Brian grew up repeating a lot of what he had been taught was acceptable, some good and some bad. He, too, became a single father and ended up relying on food stamps to help provide food for his children. Feeling ashamed and embarrassed about being on food stamps, Brian found illegal ways to make money but that led to his arrest and he was sent to Federal prison.
Going to prison helped him find another way to live, a way to move forward and not backward. It took going to prison for him to meet Jesus and to see he no longer had to be what he was. When he was released on August 11, 2001, he was determined to live this new life to help others avoid his mistakes. He became an ordained pastor in 2003 and started to see that when people saw only the outside of him, they were missing the rest of his story. He wanted to help people beyond what they asked for; he wanted to know their stories so he could know what they really needed.
The word WAY is an acronym to ask three questions that helps us to better understand how to help a person in need. Asking these questions helps us to see who this person is to himself and to others, where this person is in life and when this person will want to change his/her direction and change their whole life.
- Who Are You?
- Where Are You?
- When Are You?
Brian comes to this ministry with a lot of passion and personal experience. Seeing how relying on others for help and making poor decisions had led him to a lifestyle of dependency and dark paths, and seeing how those choices can affect a person's present and future, he wants to do his part to better his community and to help others see The WAY.
The Way is also there to help in many other ways with things like providing computers to help with job searches and submitting job applications, teaching classes on money management, resume writing, couponing, addiction, life 101 and putting people back into the job force with the Second Chance Lawn Service.