Michael Ragozzino, Executive Director
From an early age until I was 29 years old, I was a drug dealer, a gangster, and a thief and served time in prison.
As a kid, I thought I was born to be a gangster. Other kids wanted to be a doctor or an astronaut, but I just wanted to be on the streets making money. I started using heroin before I was in high school, I ran the streets.
As a result of my lifestyle I spent a total of six years in prison and went through 31 rehabilitation programs.
I grew up in Beaver county with my mom and sister. I didn’t have a father. I was a troubled child. I began smoking weed and drinking by the time I was eight. By age twelve, I was doing heroin. When I hit ninth grade I was expelled, and I never returned to school. Other kids had drams of being doctors or astronauts, I just wanted to be on the street making money.
As a result of my choices I spent six years in prison and went through endless rehab programs, thirty-one in all. At one point, the state of Ohio said I could not be rehabilitated.
I was serving a six month jail sentence when a pastor came to me. He said, “God told me to talk to you. The time is now, Michael. God will change your life, and you’re going to impact cities” I laughed.
Several days later and without explanation, I was released from jail with another three months left on my sentence.
I eventually ended up in a Christian recovery home in Pittsburgh. After a lot of starts and stops in my progress, some drugs and difficulties with authority, I came to fully accept Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. I was so broken and in a very dark place but God literally removed my craving for drugs completely. All I could do was rejoice and be thankful.
Now, I have Him with me. The rest of my life I’m living for him. That’s what I impart into the guys I work with in the Home now.