Sunshine again: Hunts Point, Bronx
I last ran into Sunshine in February. Yesterday she was walking the streets looking for Johns. We spoke for almost a half an hour, catching up. Here is what I wrote last time.
As a child Sunshine (now 37) fell from the roof of her Bronx home and had an extended stay in the hospital. Feeling dependent on drugs, she started using heroin at fourteen. At seventeen she came to Hunts Point "to taste the heroin, cause I heard it was the best," and has been here ever since. She has been "in and out of the rehab, in and out of the programs, on and off methadone, all trying to kill this addiction, to get to the other side."
When I asked about the effects of her addiction she said: "I have lost everything. I have lost my family, lost my two children, and lost my home. I don't wish this on anybody."
She has been clean for two years now, on methadone. "I feel the best I ever have." She often thinks about how many of her friends died from their addiction. "I lost fifteen friends to Hunts Point and heroin. We lost Madonna, we lost Roxanne, we lost Russia, we lost John and Billy. We lost so many addicts. This shit is real."
When I asked her dream she said: "I want to get kids here into theater and dance. There are so many troubled teens here. They are like I was. I want to give them something positive to do rather than drugs."
More on Addiction: Faces of Addiction