Redeeming Evan

Homeless in Syracuse, Evan battles drugs, gun violence, fellow addicts and the cold streets in hopes of recovering from heroin addiction.

Evan, at age two, began reaching for the gymnastics rings. He wanted to follow in his sibling's footsteps.

Soon, his talent became obvious and he was deemed the better of the two. Good wasn't a word someone would use to describe his talent, it was his calling.

By age 12, he needed knee surgery. After that, there were pain killers.

Even with a damaged knee, his coach kept pushing him — leading to more pain killers, not only for the pain, but for a psychological use.

When that wasn’t enough anymore, as many addicts do, he turned to heroin. Quickly addicted, his entire life changed.

A boy who just about had it all, who had followed his passion, made it to Junior Olympics competitions, and competed against those now in the Olympics, found himself homesless. 

Evan's life was spiraling out of control to the point that he can’t get back on his feet.

Homeless and alone, Evan used to spend each night in new and different areas: parking lots, parks, anywhere he can find a place to rest.

There are too many close calls between drugs, guns, fellow addicts and the cold streets of Syracuse.

One day, this past summer, Evan decided enough was enough. He had to decide: either continue as he had been and eventually meet his inevitable fate of destruction, or push himself and change his life.

And so, he sought help, found God and is now three months sober.

No longer interacting with the people he used to, Evan now finds comfort in living in a shelter that provides him with some of the support he needs.

Still, change does not happen over night. Surrounded by drugs and violence, Evan finds himself struggling occasionally .

The temptation is always strong, but he maintains a positive attitude.

Evan knows that if he loses his optimism, he will lose his sanity.

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