We tell the tales of our sojourners’ journeys home….
Otis B’s Wake-up Call
The path of Otis B’s adult life was littered with alcohol and drugs. After 25 years, he was tired of living this way, but it was going to take something major to break the established pattern. That “something” happened on March 26, 2008; the day he was arrested for stealing alcohol from an area convenience store.
Otis was born in St. Louis, and has lived here most of his life, graduating from McKinley High in 1979. It was then that his life got seriously off track. Cigarettes and alcohol led to marijuana and, ultimately, crack cocaine. His drug use continued until he was 45 years old. During this time, Otis visited The Bridge. Help was available to him, but he wasn’t ready to receive it, because he wasn’t ready to be honest–with others, or with himself. As evidence, he cites an incident that occurred at The Bridge in 2006. Otis was discovered smoking crack cocaine in the restroom. When confronted, he denied it. This violation of the rules–and the law–resulted in legal action and expulsion of almost one year from The Bridge. This was followed by the arrest in early 2008, the event that Otis says was the wake-up call he needed to make major life changes. “I bowed down–to God and the police. I got tired of running, and wanted to get caught.”
When Otis was released, he was ready to live life differently. He spent hours in personal reflection and prayer. “My life changed when I was living on E. Alice. On my knees, praying to God, wrapped in a blanket in this cold house…” Otis realized that “God got something in store for me.” He also realized that he had his own part to play in the plan. “I knew what it would take for me to do this. It would take determination.” And so, determined to change, he returned to The Bridge; this time ready to receive the help that was available. He expressed his gratitude to staff at The Bridge. “When I got out of the work house, they knew I had changed, and they let me come back.”
Otis believes that support, like that he received from staff of The Bridge, is key to personal success, and he encourages people to do the same for each other. “When you get the help you need, you take that to help each other; whether it’s with drugs or getting off the street.” Referring to his earlier lifestyle, Otis says, “When you’re feeling guilty, you know it’s not right.” Conversely, doing the right thing will feel good. Doing the right thing by helping someone else? That will feel even better.
Here’s Warren’s story in his own words:
“After a (2) two year layoff. All my short comings and lost of confidence was washed away by my Lord and Savior CHRIST!! by way of The Bridge Ministries. The only reference I had was The Bridge’s own Andre Cole and that was the ‘Ace’ kicker for lack of a better term. So I’ll always be grateful for The Bridge for feeding me when I could not feed myself…hygiene products, the phone and a safe heaven from drug addiction or alcoholism.”
Warren cites many staff of The Bridge as well for helping him when he needed help the most.
Bless you, Warren. We’re all happy about your good news!