Many people think that everything happens for a reason. We believe that God gives you opportunities to learn from your mistakes and correct your ways to start living a life that glorifies Him. In this story, our client shares his story of how his beginnings growing up in a bad neighborhood led him to join a gang and live a life of crime, but now that he is at Riverside House, he’s looking forward to living a more positive and productive life!
I wasn’t a bad child growing up. Although, most statistics would say that I would not lead a successful life coming from the neighborhood where I was raised in the Little Haiti area of Miami-Dade County. My mother began using drugs shortly after I was born, and I was exposed to gun violence and drugs at the age of 11 years old. Unfortunately, I began to gravitate toward the very things that my family and friends had warned me about, such as drugs, sex, and various illegal activities. I eventually joined the gang in my neighborhood, and I can remember my first crime like it was like yesterday.
It was July of 2010, at approximately 11:00 p.m. when I entered a convenience store located in North Miami. I entered the store wearing a black ski cap, white t-shirt, and jeans, and my face was exposed. Another male who was wearing a red-hooded sweatshirt and carrying a firearm followed me into the store. Upon entering the store, I jumped over the cashier’s counter where the owner of the store was sitting, reading the newspaper, and I opened the cash register and started to empty the cash within it. After I drained the cash register, I tried to open nearby file cabinets in search of more cash. My firearm was just mere inches away from the guy working there. In the end, the total amount of cash and items taken was approximately $600. Unfortunately, I would engage in a few more crimes such as this before I was eventually incarcerated.
Now, I am at Riverside House, and I am hopeful that I will be able to begin living a productive life, even though I have significant family obstacles to overcome. I am grateful to God for sparing my life while I was in gangs on the streets. I believe that He allowed me to get arrested so that I may realize my wrong ways and have the time to work toward becoming a better person. Currently, I am seeking housing and looking forward to working with the employees at Riverside House so that my next steps in life will be the best steps.
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