Against the odds, part III 

Yes, this will also be in my book.

In 2001, I was doing what I knew best at that time. I was a “street doctor.” It’s not a pleasant life to live nor a comfortable life either. After all the terrible situations I created for myself in life, this situation tops them all.

I was arrested and mistaken for someone else who was a very, very bad person. I was facing 25 years for something I didn’t do! I was put in prison under another person’s name and they put me with killers. I was waiting to get my sentence. The other inmates didn’t know my situation. For all they knew, I was a killer too! So I truly had to act the part just to survive while I was there.

I had to receive mail and answer to the name I was given, which I can’t disclose. It was a dangerous situation, a very dangerous situation. Life or death for me. I was telling every guard I saw that I wasn’t who they were saying I was. Some laughed, some were serious.

Every time I went to court and the judge called my name to stand, I just sat there. I kept telling the judge that I wasn’t the person who he was asking to stand. That was my strategy. Three times this happened. At this time, I was in my third month of prison. I was being roughed up by guards on a daily basis.

It was the morning before my big trial, where I’d find out my fate. Twenty-five years for a crime I didn’t do? It was a very scary moment in my life indeed.

A preacher came to talk to my cellmate, Paul, who killed his neighbor, an old lady that knew him since he was a baby. The preacher talked to him and had the chance to ask him personal questions. To me, it seemed like what he was saying to Paul came straight to me. I cried like a baby, surrounded by “men.” Then my time came.

The next day I was visited by other police who took me away. Thank God! If they didn’t, it would’ve been over for me. Trust me, there’s a voice inside of all of us that we need to listen to. This voice was telling me to ask this cop to look at my fingerprints again. I kept thinking, why would I ask him, he’s not going to do it because he doesn’t have to!

But I asked anyway. He just looked at me and said “okay.” I couldn’t believe it! From that point, things started changing for the better. It still took a while for me to be released. And 15 years later, it was all finally dropped from my record. My point is, I was doing wrong and that’s how I ended up in a terrible situation.

One love. Darkness into light. 

Issues |Incarceration

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.