“My name is Perry. I’m from Washington, DC, born and raised …”
I used heroin for about 42 years. All I knew was using. I started using crack in conjunction with the heroin use, and that brought me all the way to my knees. I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t handle heroin. I was glad when I got busted. I got [sentenced to] five years. I was like, “Thank you, God, now I can stop.” And since that time, I hadn’t had an interest in using.
Then I came home, went to a transition house, the Coalition for the Homeless. I stayed there 17 months. My counselor said it’s time to go a little further and put me with Thaddeus [a counselor at Samaritan Inns]–we grew up in the same neighborhood. We lived three blocks from each other! I interviewed with Thaddeus and I’ve been at Lazarus House coming up on six years.
Samaritan Inns is clean. Secure. A place that’s going to allow me to save some money. It’s a clean environment where everyone’s not using. I wouldn’t have excellent credit with money at my disposal, without Samaritan Inns. I would have had to leave that transition house and move into market rent.
And then last year I was set back with cancer. I knew that God always had something for us to go through…and it’s something that has brought me back to earth. Even though I’ve been diagnosed with it, it’s terminal, I’m alright with that too. Something’s going to happen to everybody and I’m not excluded.
I’m just satisfied with everything. For me to be alive still…I shouldn’t be. I’ve made a connection with God. I made a connection with my family. I’m happy with me. Totally happy with me. And I’m still here. Long as I don’t suffer, I’m ready.