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Transcription of Interview - Larry Sigmon

LS:

I used for like 32 years. I tried to get clean like three or four times before. I could always stop shooting dope, but I couldn’t quit, I couldn’t stay stopped, you know I’d always end up going back. Come to find out that I’ve got bipolar and major depression. I didn’t like the way I felt so I self-medicated myself since I was a little kid all the way up and I just got diagnosed with that about 8 years ago. I used because I didn’t like the way I felt. I was abused when I was a kid, beaten, and then as an adult I’ve been in and out of prisons to support my habit.

Today my life is just turned completely around because out there I try to help people. People that know me before can’t believe how I am today. And I started volunteering five days a week working in the kitchen and then the director, Stephanie, came to me and asked me how would I like to become a staff member. I couldn’t believe it, you know, that floored me and I said ‘yeah, I would love to.’ That really made me feel good man, they trust me, and it just built my self-esteem right up. The counselors that they have here they’ve really worked with me.

The majority of people that come here are angry and I know that’s how I was when I was homeless. I was homeless and all out there for years, living in abandoned ‘minioms and trucks and all that stuff and I always had an attitude. I’d always want to snap on somebody so now I know how they are. I call them ‘yes, sir’, ‘no sir’, ‘ma’am’, and all that. You respect them people.

A couple people that needed help to get into a mental place, well we took them, me and Stephanie, and the security guard took him right up to John Hopkins; took them back up there to help him. These people go out beyond their means to help you. It’s not just a 9-to-5 job here for them. You can really feel the love and the caring that they have for you.

If it weren’t for the FOH here, I don’t know where I would be at now. The counselors, they know what you’re going through. Some of them have been through it. They’re there to help you, you know, all you have to do is ask for the help.

The workers here and the director, they have been great help for me as far as me staying clean and continuing this journey that I’m going to be on for the rest of my life.

I’m a miracle, honestly. Believe that, I am definitely a miracle.

Related Stories

Beans and Bread meal program: A line forms on the corner of Bond Street in Fells Point five days a week.

Beans and Bread offers transitional housing for recovering addicts: The Frederick Ozanam House provides more than just shelter four five-bedroom apartments where 20 men recovering from addiction live communally.

Beans and Bread outreach center: Learning lab and day resource center offers more than just food for the needy.

Fells Point has the heart of Baltimore: From the heart of Fells Point Beans and Bread serves people in need.

I'm a survivor: Larry Sigmon's story is one of survival.

More than just a meal: The history of Beans and Bread, Fells Point’s outreach center.

Overcoming all odds: Resident credits his survival to Frederick Ozanam House.