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2020 Lives changed for good: Tony


Drugs took hold of Tony early. In middle school, he was already using and felt out of control. He asked for help from a teacher and entered a rehabilitation facility in Orange County. “I couldn’t control myself anymore,” Tony said. “I couldn’t handle it. I was 12 or 13 years old.”

Tony finished high school and then vocational school for landscaping and welding. Tony’s stable life hit a snag, however, when he was hit by a car. He was in physical therapy and was working, but he started using again. “I knew it was (affecting) my life: the hangovers, the bad feelings, getting sick and all that,” he said.

Things got worse when a friend took her life. Tony said it was because of drugs. “It broke my heart,” he said. His drug use increased. His brother told him about the mission.

“I said no, but inside of me, I knew I needed it,” he said. “I needed to be born again. I was saying, ‘No, no, it’s not going to work, it’s not going to fix me.’ But deep inside me, there was something greater. Something in me said, ‘Just do it. Do it for her and do it for yourself. I know you miss her and I know it hurts.’ I felt something deep in my heart. I prayed to stop doing drugs. I prayed so many times, and for some reason, I felt something.”

Tony graduated in May of 2020 and started working full time immediately after graduating. He has stayed sober and is restored with all of his family. He is now in the Mission’s Transitional Living Program and is committed to a local church. His roommates say he is “refreshingly joyful” and they are happy to have him there because “he brings a spiritual hunger and influence into the home.”

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