Saturday, June 29, 2002

Man seeks salvation from drugs, alcohol

By Steve Eder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Vincent Evans 43, of Over-The-Rhine, speaks with a counselor during the altar call Friday night.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
        Vincent Evans says he's tired of how he's “been livin'.” With nothing to lose, the 43-year-old from Over-the-Rhine, says he's done “smokin' crack, drinkin' and hustlin'.” He's found something else to pursue: religion.

        “I could just go back to Over-the-Rhine and do what I've been doing,” he said after meeting with a counselor during Friday night's Billy Graham Mission. “But what do I have to lose here? I could just go back to smokin' crack or drinkin'.

        What do I have to lose here? I have more to gain then to lose.”

        Mr. Evans said he decided to come down and see what the Rev. Mr. Graham had to say. He was hopeful that he would be touched or moved. “I needed it,” he said.

        “He got me thinkin' that I need to change my lifestyle and I need to get out of Over-the-Rhine.”

        As for Mr. Evans future plans, he says, “it's really up to the lord.”

        He says he'll start by trying to be more responsible “to the lord” instead of being easily misled, like in the past.

        The first step for Mr. Evans will be to find some better influences on his life.

        “I need to try and stay strong and get away from the people I've been hanging around with — my crack buddies, my drinkin' buddies.”

        Just minutes after coming forward, Mr. Evans said he already felt better about his life then he did before.

        “There are people that can help me, black or white,” he said.

        In fact, he says religion can help reduce some of the racial tension in Cincinnati, if more people come forward.

        “It can be solved with time and prayer,” he said.

        For now, Mr. Evans is going to take it one day at a time. He recently got his phone reconnected. Now, he will look to find a job. He planned to make at least one more visit to the mission, too.

        “I've gotta try to get my life together and be more responsible for some of the things I've been doing.”


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