To this day, I believe with all my heart that the staff at Outside In is responsible for saving Marcus’ life.

Dear Friend,

I remember feeling like there was a knife hanging over my heart, every day, waiting to drop. I watched helpless as my son Marcus drifted, depressed, homeless, hopping freight trains, having seizures, and using heroin  five different ways he could have died, every day. Marcus, my teacher of the most profound lessons in life, taught me the beauty of releasing control, because there wasn’t any other option. 

An image of two people sitting outside and talking, facing away from the camera

He was always a force to be reckoned with, a bright and wonderful and willful childMarcus was going to do things his way and there was no changing his mind. Nintervention I tried – therapy, wilderness school, therapeutic boarding school – worked for him. I came to understand that the most important thing I could do was to let him know that I loved him unconditionally.

To this day, I believe with all my heart that the staff at Outside In is responsible for saving Marcus’s life. They met him right where he was and welcomed him in, offering the judgment free support and care he needed – healthbcare, meds, a roof over his head, and food in his stomach. I’ll never forget the joy and relief I felt when he moved into an apartment in Outside In’s housing program. Marcus was indoors, had a door that closed, and a refrigerator to put food in. He was finally off the street. He was safe. 

Marcus’s path led him to experience things no parent wants for their child.  And in those most challenging times, Outside In was his lifeline. I am forever grateful and as update my will, I will be making Outside In a beneficiary in his honor.  

It means so much to share my gratitude in this way, for the love and support they offered him when his need was great. This year, Marcus celebrated 8 years of sobriety. He started his own business, bought a house, and will be marrying the woman of his dreams. I appreciate every moment of every day I have with him. There’s so much to be thankful for. 



Did you know there are many ways to transform lives and create hope with Outside In?

Your thoughtfulness and generosity are critical to lifting up our community’s most vulnerable and long into the future. That’s why we have developed this Guide to Legacy and Endowment Giving to show you many creative ways to give. Let’s talk about all the possibilities for you to create a lasting legacy of transformation and give hope to those in our community who need us the most. You can email or call Tess Anawalt at or 503.535.3855.