Cedric was living a life most of us know only from the movies. Transported by two vehicles—cocaine and freight trains—for three-and-a-half years, Cedric traveled the United States with little more than the clothing on his back.
“There really was no structure to my days living on the streets or in camps,” he recalls. “My first thought of the day was how I could get high. I didn’t have much responsibility; it was all about me and what I wanted.”
Cedric’s appetite for drugs was so great that food just wasn’t a priority. “You eat whatever you can find—anything, anywhere,” he notes. “You know they throw food away in the dumpsters behind McDonald’s. That’s the kind of thing I’d look for.”
One day, while camping in the woods in Oregon, Cedric took stock of himself and the people around him. “Some people never came out of their tents. I’d had friends who used IV drugs and overdosed. I didn’t want to die like that.”
Cedric’s travels eventually took him to Raleigh where he walked into Raleigh Rescue Mission. His Christian faith had often collided with his lifestyle; now he decided it was time to practice obedience to the God he said he believed in. “So I joined the Mission’s Life Plan Program and I’m learning to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”
More than four months into the program, Cedric has acclimated to living in a structured environment, following a routine, eating three meals a day—even sleeping in a bed! “I go to AA and NA meetings once, sometimes twice, a day, I read Scripture, I have new friends, situations and places.”
Cedric has also reacquainted himself with recognizing emotion. “On the street and addicted, you don’t really identify emotion. It’s about being high or not being high. Today, I am happy and that’s because of God. He gives me joy no matter what the situation looks like. Now I walk in faith.”
Today, you’ll find Cedric in class or helping other residents unload donations or working in the Mission’s kitchen. “One addict helping another addict is without parallel. I’m learning about humility and getting along with people,” he says.
Years ago—before the drugs took over—Cedric had been successful at selling granite and marble products, but now he’s living one day at a time. “I play guitar and could go into music ministry. I can go back into sales (I was good at it!). For now, I just want to do what’s right today.”
Since 1961, Raleigh Rescue Mission has worked to break the cycle of homelessness by providing food, shelter and the Gospel to the homeless of our city.
Our Life Plan Recovery Program offers men and women the opportunity to overcome life-dominating destructive habits and to grow in their walk with Christ.
In 2006, ### men, women and children participated in the Life Plan Program. Another 24 residents and low-income community members graduated Today’s Office—a 13-week computer literacy, job training and personal improvement program.
Our programs and services are fully funded by compassionate people, the local business community, private foundations, civic groups and churches. To learn more, call Leslie Currin, (919) 828-9014, ext. 115. Thanks for supporting this mission field right here in your own backyard!