Husters Anonymous

“Hustlers Anonymous is a fellowship of members whose lives have become unmanageable due to the choices they have made. The only requirement for membership is the desire for a better life and a willingness to take certain suggestions. Many of us have experienced negative consequences as a result of our hustler lifestyle: incarceration, broken families, police harassment, and near death experiences. Due to the lure of the streets we have time and again chosen the seemingly easy way out over our mothers, children and our own personal freedom. If you are tired of handing over control of your life to the system, missing your children grow up, or just ready to get out of the game, then you are ready to take certain steps. Some of these may seem hard but if you are ready to gain true respect for yourself, from your family and from your community, then you are well on your way.”

Original Article From TheFix-

So goes the Hustlers Anonymous preamble—read, in traditional 12-step style, at the start of every meeting. Printed on unadorned white paper, blotted with fingerprints photocopied into the page, it looks a mess because it’s been passed around, copied and recopied so many times. In fact, since the group’s start early this year, copies of the original have circulated to most of the drug treatment sites in Philadelphia’s poorest neighborhoods. Following the preamble are 10 steps:

“1. We admitted that our values have become distorted and that the streets is a game you cannot win.

2. We came to believe that the power to change is within us.

3. Made a decision to embrace the concept of faith.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. We were entirely ready to give up our old behaviors and attitudes.

6. We admitted to ourselves the harm we caused others.

7. Made a decision to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

8. Made a commitment to be honest in all our affairs, except when to do so would cause injury to others.

9. Continued to work the concept of faith in our daily lives.

10. Having gotten out of the game and experienced a productive life we pass on what we have learned.”

The origins of Hustlers Anonymous are murky, but its use spread quickly across Philadelphia this year because it helps solve an increasingly common problem facing urban drug-treatment sites: What to do with drug dealers stipulated into the substance-abuse treatment system by the courts? As probation offices and diversion programs use the drug treatment system more heavily as a way to keep nonviolent offenders with drug arrests out of prison, counselors find themselves saddled with a growing number of clients who refuse to identify as addicts and insist on qualifying themselves as hustlers.

 

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