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You gave her hope. Now she shares it with others

"Thanks to The Bowery Mission, I have my mind back. I have my family back. I have my life back."

LeslieMy name is Leslie, and for eleven years, I was high every day.

When my dad died of leukemia in 1980, I started smoking angel dust and crack cocaine. With 15 kids in our family, we were well known in Harlem. My older siblings had money and connections, so it was easy to get drugs. But it was impossible to give them up.

My addiction got so bad, my mom took my two beautiful daughters down south, away from me. I remember lying on a park bench, crying to God for help. I knew I couldn’t stop on my own.

The next day, I entered rehab and learned about The Bowery Mission. It’s been over twenty years since I walked through those red doors, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I found God at the Mission. And I also found sobriety.

I worked hard in the program, cleaning rooms and sweeping the building. Eventually, I was in charge of stocking the kitchen and distributing clothing donations. The people at the Mission became like family. I was sheltered, nurtured and given tools to live by.

The Mission prepared me to earn my GED and to graduate from nursing school. For seven years, I was a Certified Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aid. Then I earned a bachelor’s degree and worked as a Client Care Worker. Today, I’m a Director of Social Services and hope to get my master’s degree in Social Work.

I’m most thankful for being able to restore my relationships with my mom and daughters. It took time and a lot of forgiveness on their end, but I’m so grateful to have them back in my life. I’m now a grandmother to three amazing grandchildren!

Thanks to The Bowery Mission, I have my mind back. I have my family back. I have my life back. I love those red doors and thank God they’re still open to help more people like me.


Help Others Like Leslie

Broken women who come to The Bowery Mission, like Leslie, need care, compassion and help to rebuild their lives. Your gifts help make that happen. Please give generously.

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