The winter of 1987 I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol because I was young and didn’t know any better. I was 21 years old and continued to use drugs and alcohol for the next twenty years almost every day. I would drink to the point where I couldn’t walk straight and I would need a beer or two to wake up. At the same time I started smoking crack daily. I was drinking so much that I wasn’t able to keep a work schedule, and I would call off or not show up for work. I was constantly losing jobs. My drinking and drugging continued for the next twenty years with jobs here and there until February 2006 when my life turned around.
My brother had sent me to the store to buy some things, but I knew immediately that I was going to get drugs instead. I took the bus to where my dealer was and bought as much drugs as I could. I ended up riding the bus all night, and when I woke up I pulled the cord to get off and walked over to the City Mission to get something to eat and to take a shower. But I wound up staying for the next nine months in their men’s Crossroads Ministry Program. The program helps homeless people find jobs and also find God. Being in their program was what kept me off drugs and alcohol and I haven’t used since then.
I’ve learned to take life one day at a time and always keep God first. My family and I have a much better relationship now that I no longer use drugs and alcohol. Now, I’m no longer the outcast of the family, but someone that they can all depend on for support. I will be forever grateful to the City Mission and their staff for helping me to turn my life around.
Copyright NEOCH and Street Chronicle May 2013 , Cleveland, Ohio