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Empowered Through God
Open Door Helped Me in My Time of Need”

Twelve years ago, Saladean thought life was pretty good. “I was working in a restaurant, making $10.50 an hour; I had bought a Chevy Blazer and just had my first child.”Then, life took a change for the worse. Struggling with an addiction to marijuana, Saladean lost his job, his vehicle, his apartment and his family. “I had hit rock bottom andwas struggling to survive. I had no clue how to get assistance, and felt embarrassed to need help.”

With nowhere to live and no one to turn to, Saladean contacted the local police department, and they directed him to the Open Door Mission. “I knew about the Open Door Mission, but I was scared to go there.” WhenSaladean finally learned that the Mission’s Samaritan House offers a number of benefits, including meals andshelter, church and prayer, he felt better about coming in.

In addition to homelessness and addiction, Saladean wasbattling depression and a feeling of helplessness. “I fought for three years to have a stable mind, not realizing that my marijuana habit was contributing to my illness.” Saladean tried to take control of his problems by admitting himselfto a hospital. But the drugs they prescribed once he was released were too expensive for him to afford on his own. “I wanted to fix the problem, but I couldn’t,” he says.“Luckily, someone prayed for me.”

People here at the Mission were Saladean’s helping hand in his time of need. “I thank God for the Open Door Mission. I worked and prayed and fellowshipped withthem, and they were my support system. They wanted nothing but the best for me.”With this support, Saladeanreturned to college and graduated last May with an associate’s degree in Communications and Media Arts.

Today, he is furthering his education at Erie CommunityCollege in Buffalo and majoring in social work. He’s working the night shift to support himself and coming back to Rochester frequently to visit the Mission and see his children, with whom he is reestablishing a relationship.