Damon’s Story


newsletter 1At the vulnerable age of 18, Damon found himself sleeping on street benches next to the capitol in Washington, D.C. Hardships began his life’s journey including finding his mother dead from a drug overdose. At 9 years old, Damon was shipped to live with an aunt. Damon’s dark upbringing and grief fueled his drug use which left him homeless and without hope for a better life. Without refuge, Damon was caught up in the violence of the streets and was battered to the brink of death.

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While panhandling to raise enough money for a bus ticket, Damon asked a stranger for money. That stranger probably has no idea— to this day—the role he played in changing Damon’s life. The man told Damon he would not give him money but instead, he would buy him a bus ticket.

“God guided me to Syracuse that day and to the Rescue Mission,” Damon exclaimed. When Damon arrived on our campus, he was given a meal and a bed for the night. “I came to the Rescue Mission and I didn’t look back,” Damon remembered of his first experience at the Mission. His basic needs were met which allowed him to trust the future support he would receive from Rescue Mission programs and staff. “They addressed all of my problems, not just my homelessness.” Damon’s grief for his mother and his lost youth fed the hopelessness that led him to drug abuse. At the Rescue Mission he found sanctuary from his past through grief counseling and treatment for his addiction. “I was on my way down a lonely road and they gave me my youth back,” Damon said.

“If it weren’t for the Rescue Mission, I would be dead,” Damon expressed. By the grace of God, the Rescue Mission and some helpful strangers, Damon found a life worth living.

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