Owen’s Journey

2017 Annual Pledge

I am alive today because of you.

20171031_141348 (1)Fall 2017
I feel lucky to be alive and able to share how I overcame my addiction to heroin with the care I received at Shelters of Saratoga (SOS). I would like to ask for your support of SOS so they can continue providing a home, hot meals, and a compassionate ear to hundreds of others who have nowhere else to turn.

At age 13, I fell into a deep depression and started using drugs. By 18, I was addicted to heroin. I became homeless when my family had exhausted all resources to help me overcome my addiction. I chose heroin above everyone and everything in my life. For two years I navigated treatment facilities, living on the streets, a halfway house, and even prison.

When I was introduced to SOS I had hope that it was possible for me to have a better future. I was connected to the case managed shelter, where I was expected to stay sober. It allowed me to have a roof over my head while I began the process of stabilizing my life. Your support of homeless care helped me regain my confidence. 

Like many others facing the stronghold of the heroin epidemic, I faltered and relapsed. I went back to prison. During my short sentence, my dear friend died from a heroin overdose at the tender age of 19. Her death made me realize that my life was dependent on sobriety. 

On average – 30% of the individuals served at SOS report substance use as combined or sole factor leading to their homelessness. Domestic violence remains the leading cause of homelessness in the Saratoga region.

Following my release from prison, I stayed at the case managed shelter for a second time. This time I was committed to staying sober. I was regularly drug-tested, which held me accountable to finding my path to success. I began working at a local restaurant and eventually saved enough money to move into my own apartment.

I have now been sober for two years. I was recently promoted to Executive Chef and I am expecting my first child this winter. With a bright future ahead of me, I am forever grateful for the help and guidance your support provided during my time of need.

Please make your gift today to ensure individuals have the safety and security to begin rebuilding their lives.