Before you read any further, know that this post is being written by Cindi Gremling, the founder of Hazel’s House of Hope. These are my thoughts and opinions. Delete me, unfriend me, do whatever you have to do…..
Ohio is Rated #2 Drug Overdose State in the Nation. Read the article here.
For the past 5 years we have been on the front lines of the battle with the enemy called heroin. We started bringing girls into the crisis center with no clue what this drug was all about. The center did not serve a lot of girls, in part because shooting up heroin was not all that common. We heard lots about perg30s and oxys, and that was the drug of choice.
Here we are today. I can walk down Morrill Avenue, the location of the original Hazel’s House and 95% of the people walking down the sidewalk are heroin users. How do I know that? They tell me. I serve them coffee, I feed them, I clothe them, we provide them holiday meals, Christmas presents. We are their family.
Why must we provide their basic needs & holiday meals? Because they have robbed, stolen, & vandalized all of their friends and family. They’ve stolen money, identities, heirlooms, anything they can for that $10 hit. Beautiful women, with hearts and children are getting into cars with unknown strangers, performing unspeakable acts for $10. I can drive down Parsons Avenue any given day or night, and point out up to 20 girls, braving the heat, the cold, the rain, whatever they need to do.
We did not start Hazel’s House to be on tv, or that someone would recognize me at Kroger. We are trying to save lives. Your son, brother, grandmother, grandfather, sister, your friend. This drug has taken too many people I love.
I have spent the past 5 days morning the loss of my cousin. Not someone from the street, not a prostitute, not some crazy person, but MY cousin. Seven months older than me, lived 2 doors away from me. A good man, a caring man, a man that was loved by many. A man who’s neighbors cried when they found out he had died.
I’ve been asked why we move into less desirable neighborhoods, why we write down license plates of dealers, why we call the police when needed. Pure and simple, we are trying to save a life.
We’ve set up a gofundme account to cover expenses for my cousin. You may donate here.
If you want to support what Hazel’s House is doing, and our fight to love the least of these, you can donate here on the website.
You may not feel comfortable going into the streets, sitting on the stoop with a prostitute, drinking coffee with an addict. But I do. I love the unlovable, because THAT IS ME.
Can we please start talking about addiction? Mental Health issues? Depression? Suicide? I understand you don’t know what to do, or who to call, but there are those of us who know which direction to point you in. It is in my family, it’s in your family. LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.