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Bel Air pastor working to end heroin epidemic in Harford Co.

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Posted at 10:46 PM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-13 00:02:57-04
Pastor Keith Vazquez runs five transitional homes in Harford County through his church, Agape Ministries.
 
"I needed to become a part of what was going on up here," he said. "So we opened up some transitional homes for after care for people who were coming through recovery houses, 28 day programs."
 
The pastor says he's seen too many hurt from drug abuse over the years.
 
"I'm a recovery pastor and I've been exposed to many overdoses and recently I've been exposed to a death and somebody has to stand up and somebody has to step forward and go to war against this addiction," Vazquez said.
 

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Part of fighting that war is giving men like Vincent Rose a second chance.
 
"I came here basically from a medical center, addicted to opiate pills, and then on the street searching for what I couldn't find from a doctor," Rose told ABC2.
 
But the fix he needed, he got from Pastor Vazquez through faith.
 
"I was physically and mentally addicted 100 percent," Rose said. "It takes your life away, it takes your hope away there's only one thing that you want everyday." 
 
That changed from pills and heroin, to the camaraderie and hope he finds at the home.
 
"Once I got here, I've learned to fill my spirit with something else other than medications, alcohol whatever substance I chose that day," Rose said.
 
Rose became addicted after several hip issues and many surgeries. He took opiates for pain relief, but they took over his life.
 
"I lost my self spirit, I lost my self esteem, I lost everything about myself I lost some members of my family," he said.
 
Rose has been living in the home for about five months. He says if not for the Agape House, he woudl be dead.
 
He, like the others who live there, now have hope.
 
"This is called the Agape House. Agape means unconditional love," Rose said.
 
For Vazquez, his labor of love continues to breed success stories.
 
"I know that these men have potential. I've seen so much human potential," Vazquez said. "These are all men that came from the homeless shelter, from tents and from recovery houses from psychiatric wards in hospitals."
 
For the men, it's about helping others survive a deadly epidemic.
 
"That's my hope. That nobody else dies from this," said Rose.
 
Click here to learn how you can help the Agape Ministries.