Tyler Trowbridge is a Board Member and Director of Advocacy and Community Outreach who co-founded Dirt City Sanctuary to help end the cycle of addiction and homelessness.
I was born in Grand Rapids and then moved to Grant, Michigan when I was 4. That is where I lived and grew up, but my family came to Grand Rapids at least a few times a week. Grand Rapids is what I’ve known since I was born and where I became homeless. I graduated from Grant in 2003 with Stacy, and then I went to Ferris State University in Big Rapids for about a year before dropping out to see the country. I’ve been to 42 states but Michigan has always been home.
I grew up working hard and was able to maintain that into my twenties, but drugs got a hold of me and sent me and my soul to the slums of earth. I was a professional drug addict and hustler in every aspect. I have a master’s degree in shooting heroin and a bachelor’s degree in crack cocaine. I’ve been to jail at least 30 times and to rehab or detox around 20 times. I was the guy no one thought could ever get clean. Today, I’m receiving addiction treatment, I have my own apartment, I’m working full time, and giving back to the community. It turned out that with the right formula, even I was able to come back stronger than ever before. I’ve done every drug possible, but I have never found anything that felt even a little close to what I feel helping my fellow man. If I could play a part in anyone getting clean and creating a nice life for themselves, it was all worth it. It’s all about the love.