Man who battled addiction for 30 years now gives back to the community

Acts of Kindness: Former addict serves homeless community

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Rock bottom is an isolating place where the nights are cold, the skies are gray. There’s no safety blanket or a pillow to rest your head.

Joey Matthews lived at Rock bottom.

It was home, a comfortable, yet dangerous place where he battled addiction for 30 years.

That vice would cost him more than any mortgage ever could.

Now, he’s giving back to a community of people he can relate to as he fulfills what he calls his purpose, now that he’s been given a second chance.

“I just try to give back because I was a taker for many years," said Matthews. "I begged, borrowed, lied, and did a lot of things to feed my unhealthy habits.”

Now, two and a half years clean and sober, he’s standing beside his wife, serving an underserved community.

Nourishing their mind, body and soul.

Cindy Adams has a front row seat to Matthews’ comeback.

“He definitely gets it from his dad," said Adams. It’s funny that I worked at the home insurance company with his dad, and I’m in the house of God here, and he’s out there helping the homeless.”

But Matthews’ dad never got the chance to see his son get back on his feet as he died.

“Oh my gosh he would be so proud of Joey,” said Adams.

She wrote to NBC12 talking about Matthews’ great deeds in the community, hoping he’d be honored for his “Acts of Kindness.”

The reward comes with $300. She hopes this blessing from God, as she put it, will allow him to continue to give back.

Matthews has a job at the airport that keeps him afloat and pays the bills, but he wouldn’t consider himself to be wealthy by any means.

“He’s rich with friends, he’s rich in his relationship with the Lord. So, yes he is a rich man," said Adams.

Matthews says in God’s eyes, there’s no such thing as a lost cause.

For the men and women sleeping on the streets, wondering where their next meal will come from, Matthews says he will continue to have faith that they too will eventually find their way back home.

“I don’t want to waste another day,” he said. "I’ve wasted a lot of days and Jesus spared me. I’m on God’s time.”

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