Richmond Outreach Center helps families beat drug and alcohol ab - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Richmond Outreach Center helps families beat drug and alcohol abuse


A Chesterfield couple counts their blessings this Good Friday. Drug and alcohol abuse ravaged their lives.

This holiday weekend, a father will graduate from the Richmond Outreach Center. The family is now sharing their story hoping it will help save others.

"Drugs and alcohol were kind of tearing apart our family," said Chris Luscher.

Luscher will never forget his daughter being born with a fatal genetic abnormality that would rob her of life hours after birth - and then his two young children, riding in the car, their mother behind the wheel driving drunk and later crashing.

"Yeah. Almost lost everything. It was a real stab in the heart."

His wife came to the ROC for the discipleship home program. Chris wasn't yet ready.

"And I caught a drug charge, and I lost my job. It seemed like God had closed every other door and made sure this one was open for me."

This is a fruitful experience in more ways than one. Participants in the program actually get to work here in the food pantry - preparing bags with things like bread and sweets and a fridge full of meats. In all, they are giving away at least 750 bags each and every week.

"So two important things that we teach people right away is how to work, and how to give back to the community," said Pastor Geronimo Aguilar.

Pastor G. says in exchange, participants like Chris get access to things like enrichment classes, a dance studio, and a gym for personal and physical growth.

"There are other good programs out there, I think the unique thing about ours is it's free of charge," said Pastor G. "It doesn't cost thousands of dollars. You don't have to have good insurance. You just have to want to change."

Pastor G. has been there:

"My dad left me when I was 3, my mom was shot and murdered when I was 8. I was hanging out with a gang by 15, selling drugs by 16, and strung out on drugs by 17."

It was a similar outreach program that saved his life and now has helped Chris and his family stay clean for eight months.

"My whole life has really turned around," said Chris Luscher.

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