I’ll be 50 next April.
I’m a Taurus.
We can be mean at times; we can be sweet at times.
We are not gonna let anyone run over us.
We are loving people.
A Taurus is a person that will bust his butt to take care of his family.
Okay, I’m going to be honest with you, I had a drug problem for many years.
I’ve been clean for four years, and I’ve been here at Good News At Noon for five.
God put me in this place. God put me here for a reason. I think He brought me to Good News at Noon to turn myself around and get closer to Him.
Sometimes you crawl, but you don’t know how to stand up, like a baby. I crawled for a long time.
When I’m here, I work with community service.
I set up things, and clean this place up like it’s my home.
Good News at Noon is a good place if you wanna do right.
In other rehabs I have been in, you have to let them know every move you make.
This place don’t hold no ties on you. In this place you are free as long as you do right.
I’m thankful, very thankful.
I asked God what my purpose was, and what He wanted me to do in this world.
I can’t go back and start hanging with those people, my so-called friends.
I’ll start back at those bad habits.
Instead, I say hey…and bye.
So-called friends ain’t no good.
I see them come in here sometimes.
Sometimes, some of them come in here being real mean.
They are still in that other world, and out trying to do things on they own.
I try to do things on my own. When I don’t, at least I have my family that say, “okay I’ll look out for him because he is trying so hard.”
It’s really hard. I have a son and I have a daughter.
I haven’t spoken to them in eight months.
My daughter has my temper and her mama’s temper.
I think she’s talking again with her children’s daddy.
Man, I really despise him for what he did.
You can put your hands on a woman in a loving matter.
But when you hit her and bruise her, I don’t care for that.
I warned him the first time “don’t do that, don’t hurt my baby.”
I found out again. My son got at him.
I told her what will happen if I catch him.
Two things: your children are going to be without a daddy, and your daddy gonna be in jail.
But I don’t want my temper to go that far.
She got five kids.
She may be pregnant again. I don’t know.
I’ve tried to talk to him but, I can’t talk to him anymore.
Just like your daddy would protect you…that’s my baby.
I don’t hit women. That’s something I don’t do.
If I gotta fight you, I walk away.
Words are one thing, but when you get violent I don’t care for you.
I do not call women two names that’s a “bitch” or a “hoe.”
Now I might say it walking off to myself, but never to her face.
I’m not gonna let her hear me say nothing like that.
I’m not perfect but…it’s a feeling. I can’t really say, but I’m thankful.
My sister is all I really got right now.
Me and my siblings all had the same daddy.
My momma and my real father fought.
One day, my mama left and never went back.
When I was three years old, my mother met my stepfather, and he raised us as his children.
He didn’t say “that’s my stepchildren.”
We ask him for something, he gave it to us.
We were fortunate that my momma met someone that loved us as his.
My daddy reminds me of Mr. B, the founder of Good News at Noon. He used to call me his son. He didn’t care about color. He showed me a lot of love. If there’s a person that you call a saint, that was him. He gave. He was there for you all the time to say a good word or just to shake your hand. That’s what turned me around.
I always went to church, but I never received God for who He is. I turned my life around four years ago. I’ve never turned back by the grace of God. This day I’m better. I’m not where I use to be, but I’m better than I was. God turned me around. I love Him, I love others and I try to do what’s right. That’s why I’m here. It’s a great feeling when you receive God into your heart. ‘Cause you know what He do for you? He has opened doors for me. I use to have fears that I wouldn’t do right while I’m here trying to get better.
The only thing I’m afraid of is the word of God.
I’m afraid that what He has done for me, if I go back to my old ways, He might take it away. I ask God every night to hold onto me and guide me right. That’s what I’m afraid of. Sometimes you have to put those problems in God’s hand. Still, in this world, we have to overlook some of our problems. After all the years that I scuffled with that, I opened up my heart and was sincere with God and He just washed it away. I had to turn around with a sincere heart to believe in Him.
That’s why y’all seen me read the Bible. I try to read everyday. People in the Bible, they have gone through things, but they believe in God and worship God. If you appreciate God and what He can do, He will work it out. I think it’s my purpose to keep receiving Him and keep praising Him for what he brought me through.
I think about it sometimes when I’m serving people like Richard, Brandon and Frank.
I think it’s my purpose to serve. I don’t mind.
I wanna give back. God will open up.
The one thing I ask God is hold on to me, don’t let me slip. I gotta keep my hope in God with my dreams. I’ll be alright.
Told by: Nicole Vernon
This story originally appeared in Facing Homelessness in Hall County, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia.