“I just wanted to die.”

From Death to Life

“It’s like I’m in a new world,” says Bruce. Living in his own apartment, cooking hearty meals, and volunteering at The City Mission, he is light years away from sleeping in the woods and eating out of dumpsters. Most of all, Bruce is “a new man in Christ.”

Bruce’s transformation took almost 54 years. When Bruce was very young, his grandparents brought him up to Cleveland from the south. Sadly, his mother was addicted to drugs and unable to care for him. While his grandparents loved him, their age often left Bruce to his own devices, and the wrong crowd began to fill the void of parent.

“I started doing drugs at 14. Neighbors on my street would sit on their porch, smoke weed and drink. That was normal.” In the years ahead, Bruce used harder drugs, eventually becoming addicted to heroin.

The Toast of the Town

Bruce lived the high life, working for his grandfather, driving expensive cars, and being “the toast of the town.” When his grandfather suffered a severe stroke, it all came crashing down. “I was making half a million dollars a year and I blew it. You can’t focus when you’re on drugs. I got fired.”

Before long, Bruce was selling drugs to survive and went to prison five times. Evicted from his apartment in the middle of winter, Bruce broke into an abandoned garage and took refuge. Later, he says, “I lived down by the creek. I dug a ditch and put leaves or dirty blankets down to sleep.”

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Answered Prayer

Finally, Bruce says, “I just wanted to die.” But he couldn’t give up so easily. He tried to get into a detox center and was referred to The City Mission. In just a few hours, though, he knew he would be going through heroin withdrawal.

“I prayed all night,” Bruce recalls. “I said, ‘God, I will change my life, just please don’t let me get drug sick.’ The morning came and I wasn’t sick!”

Bruce persevered in his promise and graduated from our Crossroads program. “This is the best I’ve felt since I was 14. I know in my heart that God loves me.”

“Before The City Mission, I was dead. Because of The City Mission, I am glad in Christ!”

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