• imageCo-occurring mental health
  • imageDetox
  • imageHospital inpatient
  • imageInterim care
  • imageOutpatient
  • imageResidential
  • imageTelemedicine
  • imageTransitional housing

Jesse De La Cruz

The son of migrant farmworkers, De La Cruz has faced tough challenges throughout his life. His mother was just 13 years old when he was born, and the family struggled with poverty. Contracting polio as a child, De La Cruz spent many years confined to a hospital. As a teen, he got addicted to heroin and joined the street gangs of his Mexican-American barrio in California. That path led De La Cruz to prison. For 30 years, he would be incarcerated, on and off, before having a profound awakening. Leaving a homeless shelter one day, De La Cruz reflected on his life. “I lashed out at God asking Him why He was treating me so bad,” he recalls. “Immediately, I heard a voice respond gently that it was not Him who was treating me so bad. That it was me who was hurting me. That was my moment of clarity and I lifted my arms in surrender and asked for guidance.” De La Cruz today is a different man. Now in his 22nd year of recovery, he holds a Doctorate in Education (his dissertation was a case study on Mexican American/Chicano gang members). De La Cruz facilitates gang awareness workshops in many schools, lectures at universities and has testified as an expert witness in hundreds of gang-related court cases nationwide. He is the author of “Detoured: My Journey from Darkness to Light.”

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