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Smitty's Restoration: A Story You Made Possible

"At the Mission, I started to learn what love was really about."

SmittyMy name is Smitty and I grew up in Brooklyn. My family had a lot of money from selling liquor in local brothels and running a gambling ring.

It wasn’t long before I started selling drugs and hijacking trucks myself. I used drugs and abused women — and that’s how I lived my life for almost 50 years.

But it all finally caught up with me and about seven years ago, on the verge of being homeless, I decided it was time to stand up straight and get my life together.

So I came to The Bowery Mission, and I jumped in their program, hoping to find the help I needed. The first thing I did was seek out the people I figured could help me — pastors and chaplains.

All my life, I ignored God. But I always knew there was a God. And at The Bowery Mission, I had to get real with Him. I learned that if I took one step toward God, He'd take three or four steps toward me. And slowly my life started to change.

The biggest change in me was learning to respect people again, especially ladies. All my life, I treated women like they were there for my personal pleasure, but through the counseling and classes at the Mission, I started to learn what love was really all about.

I graduated from The Bowery Mission five years ago, and today I’m working at a good job and living in the Bronx. But I’ll always consider the Mission my home. If it weren’t for my time there, I would have gone back to living in the fast lane. Today, I’m anchored and strong, and I’m still connected to the counselors and mentors who helped change my life. Thanks to The Bowery Mission, I’m a better person and I’ve renewed my relationship with God.

Your gift will make a difference

Every day, The Bowery Mission's programs for men, women and children are making a life-transforming difference for people experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, unemployment and other crises. Your online gift today will go to work immediately providing meals, shelter, medical care and long-term recovery for adults; or mentoring and enrichment opportunities for youth.

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