Sophia Miller grew up in St. James, Jamaica and came to New York a few years ago. It wasn’t long after moving here, though, that she and her two daughters ended up homeless. Sophia struggled to find work and started to lose hope all together. Then she met Dustee, the founder of Gifted Hands, our affiliate that provides educational art programs to build self-esteem and teach new skills. Here, Sophia shares her story of hope.
Stories of Hope
Raul Rivera grew up in the South Bronx in the 60s and 70s. From a young age, he got into the vices the neighborhood had to offer—drugs, violence, crime. He spent years of his life in and out of jail—until he got connected with our affiliate Graffiti at the age of 50.
Detra is a preacher’s daughter who moved from Arkansas to NYC to escape an abusive husband and then became homeless. She shares the story of how God used the New York City Rescue Mission to show her she can be real with her pain and walk in the freedom of who God created her to be.
Justice Reyes got involved drinking and doing drugs as a middle schooler to escape reality. After a car accident involving drinking and driving, he realized he needed help and went to Brooklyn Teen Challenge and found the fulfillment he had been craving.
Wolfie Bright spent his life following other people, which led him to drugs, homelessness, and time in a nursing home. But God used Dustee, founder of Gifted Hands, to restore him to the Mr. Bright he was meant to be.
Amanda Wood started doing drugs when she was 15. By the time she was in her twenties, she was in the throes of addiction. But God used the people at Brooklyn Teen Challenge to show Amanda the love of Christ and to bring hope to her life at a time when she has lost who she was.
Jimmy Badillo was born in the Bronx and raised on the Lower East Side. He was arrested at 37 and thought his life was over. But God used a Box of Love from Cru Inner City to show Jimmy that He was loved even in the hard times.
Max is a high schooler in the South Bronx. He grew up feeling overwhelmed by the negativity in his neighborhood. But last summer, Max went to Mont Lawn Camp in Pennsylvania, and God worked through his counselors to help him see his relationship with Jesus in a new way—and that has changed his life.
Debra Burgos battled a 20-year addiction to alcohol and a 10-year addiction to heroin. Then she found Brooklyn Teen Challenge and the Walter Hoving Home. Now she’s a spiritual mom to those going through the struggles she once did.
I was at my usual hangout, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, thinking about how I was going to make it through the day when out of nowhere I heard this voice saying, “YOU DON’T NEED TO BE HERE.” At that moment, I knew God was releasing me from my drug addiction.