December 2020 • Newsletter
Some kids dream of becoming a firefighter or a policeman. Growing up in downtown Kansas City, Jereme wanted to become a drug dealer.
“Not the violent kind that’s out there gang banging. I wanted to be the hippie kind of dealer that helps people… or at least what I thought was helping people out.”
From the time he was 16 to well into his 30s, Jereme dedicated all his efforts to honing his craft. It led to fights at school, strife at home over marijuana, and a lot of money in a young man’s pocket. Before he was 17, he moved out of his grandma’s house and ventured off on his own. Dealing paid off for another two years before he got caught with a sizable amount of drugs and cash.
“I spent the next three birthdays in prison. Inside I just learned how to be a better criminal. I wasn’t in gangs or stealing. I prided myself on being a moralistic drug dealer. But that made
everything worse because I could justify what I was doing.”
As the years passed, prison time became more frequent, morals faded and before long, Jereme was dealing for bikers and the Mexican mafia.
“I was doing stuff I used to pride myself on not getting involved with. I knew I needed to change. I got involved with some Bible studies, met some believers and found the Lord. They connected me to Along Side.”
Jereme was connected to a mentor who helped guide him in his new walk. By the time he left prison, he was a different person. But now Jereme had a problem – he had no idea how to live a legitimate life.
“As a dealer, I didn’t drive. I always called people for rides. I didn’t pay for insurance; I didn’t pay bills because I always lived with someone who let me pay rent in drugs. I had never lived in the real world.”
Through your support, Along Side was there to guide Jereme through the ins and outs of living legitimately. We helped him get a driver’s license and a Social Security card, how to budget for utilities, and save to afford an apartment and a car. Today, he’s not only on his feet, he’s started his own handyman business!
“God has blessed me and blessed me. Whatever I needed, ASM has helped me with. To think of the person I was compared to where I am now, it’s amazing.”
P.S. As you think about giving, please note: Your gift can earn you a dollar-for-dollar credit against your state taxes, due to the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit. Claim up to $400 of your gifts to Along Side if you file singly, or $800 if you file jointly. Thank you again!