If you’ve ever walked around downtown Amherst, chances are that you’ve heard Mr. Gregory crooning down by the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst. The talented Baltimore native stopped by the ACC office one morning to share his journey out of the iron grasp of the streets and into the warm embrace of spirituality, community, and music. Greg recognized at an early age that he would eventually turn to the streets to hustle. “Seeing my mom struggle all the time made me want money. Selling drugs just became my way of life.” After some time passed, he did grow tired of hustling and looked to Boston for a fresh start. However, he found that it was easier to hustle and use without his mother close by.
Eventually Gregory connected with a young man who got him involved with a church’s Teen Challenge program, which helps people recover from various addictions through faith. "That program gave me a sense of direction. They didn’t medicate us with medicine; they gave us spiritual medicine.” It was here that he developed the clarity and spirituality he needed to become the mentor, leader, and advocate he feels he was always meant to be.
Greg discovered another part of his own system of support at ACC, having received help writing a résumé at the office last week and gotten a job the next day. Greg has lived substance-free for over 20 years, is holding down two jobs, and continues to grow in his faith and passions: music and poetry. Not only does singing help Greg relax, but he loves seeing the joy it brings others. Poetry allows him to tell his story, and helps him process the things going on in the world around him. Greg hopes that his testimony encourages others to find the strength, peace, and passions to move the mountains within their own lives.