After Craig’s last sentence upstate in 1997, he had nowhere to go. “I couldn’t go back home—my family wanted nothing to do with me. I was an addict and a thief. I was living in a doorway in East New York, eating out of garbage cans.”
Desperate and alone, Craig walked into a Narcotics Anonymous meeting—not to get help, but hoping someone would give him $5 so he could get high. He ran into Tommy, a former drug counselor he hadn’t seen in more than fifteen years. Tommy wouldn’t give Craig money, but he did hand him a business card for a work program and shelter he was now working for—The Doe Fund.
Craig assumed this was just another program, no different than the dozens he’d already tried. But he was out of options, so he took the train up to The Doe Fund’s Harlem facility.
Craig has been clean ever since.
Like everyone at The Doe Fund, he spent his first few months in the program cleaning streets and sidewalks throughout New York City. “I never had a job all those years on the street. This was my chance to show what I was made of. I felt like a human being again.”
Not long after, Craig began driving Ready, Willing & Able vehicles. Then he was asked to join the dispatch team. A few years later, he became a program director. Now he runs The Doe Fund’s entire street cleaning operation.
“I’m able to give strength to the ‘men in blue’—exactly what was given to me as a trainee. It’s amazing how I’ve changed. And if I could change, I know anybody coming in the doors behind me can do the same thing.”
There was a time when Craig couldn’t care about himself or anyone else. Today, he’s a proud family man. “I’m a good husband and a great father. I have my immediate family and my Doe Fund family.”