De was at a new low. Five days after his son De’Kavion was born, the mother of this beautiful little boy passed away.

De knew he needed help to get through all the pain and figure out how to take care of his newborn son.

De Thebon Nettles had already experienced a lot of sadness. His mom died when he was 11, and he’d lost 3 brothers and several other members of his extended family. He’d done some grief counseling in the past, but this time he knew he needed more.

He came back to Raleigh where he’d grown up, and where he thought he’d find the best resources. Oak City Cares pointed him to a place where he and his son could remain together – Raleigh Rescue Mission.

“When I found out I could have my son with me, I was so happy. It gave me the strength to change, to see how I can raise my son. I know I can do this, for me and for him,” says De.

When asked about the programs and services at the Mission, De was thoughtful. “The counseling, the small groups, even the vocational training schedule makes me feel like I’m at home. I’m taking care of my son, going to work, cooking, cleaning – just like at home. It’s really helping me. I am happier every day, being around people that care.”

Like most of us, De visibly lights up when he talks about his child. “My son is the foundation of us being here. I know one day he’s probably going to have kids of his own. I want to show him how to be a good father to his own children. He’s smart, he’s learning every day. I can sense his abilities and I know he’s going to be successful. I want him to be better than me. I LOVE HIS SMILE.”

De says his faith has grown “a whole lot” since he’s been at the Mission. “I was going through a little something before I got here. My faith was low, and now it’s stronger than it’s ever been.” He says the Mission is giving him the skills he needs to be a great dad, a good hard working man, manage his money, pay his bills, keep food on the table for him and his son, and eventually have his own place.

What does De want others to know? “I just hope what I have to say reaches people. I’ve been through a storm and I feel like sunshine is coming real soon. And I can’t wait to see it.”

“When I found out I could have my son with me, I was so happy. It gave me the strength to change...”