Jeremy Crouse

REVELO ISSUE 05 • Written by Michael C. Upton

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160 North Point Boulevard, Suite 200
Lancaster, PA 17601
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Jeremy Crouse grew up in Columbia. He took it for granted.

“I thought Columbia and Lancaster were kinda whack,” says Jeremy, relaxing in the backyard of his parent’s home on Lancaster Ave. “You don’t know and appreciate it until you get away from it for a few years. It’s super cool and I’m proud to be a Columbia resident.”

Jeremy did leave the area. He discovered an appreciation for Lancaster County. But it was a hard road, a road pocked with drug abuse, questionable choices, and ultimately rock bottom.

“I was living on the streets. Basically, my alarm was a sprinkler system in a community park where I was sleeping,” says Jeremy, recalling the depths of his five-year stay in Las Vegas. “Oh yeah, I hit rock bottom. Out there it’s Sin City and it will definitely play on any of your vices. It’s definitely going to take ahold of you.”

After working in local restaurants as a young man, it was the hospitality industry that led him to Vegas. The city offered him a level of professionalism, respect, and success he could not find in Lancaster County.

“It felt good to be appreciated in that line of work. There’s a lot of opportunity in Vegas,” says Jeremy, who drove out with nothing to lose and got a job working in a Wolfgang Puck establishment. “At first it was fun. I was literally on my own for the first time in my life and it felt great, actually.”

In Columbia, bars shut down at 2:00 a.m. In Vegas, bars don’t close. Most city residents are transient, cold people and while Jeremy admits it is a great place to visit, living there is not for everyone. It surely wasn’t for him. The glamour and the bright lights faded in his eyes.

“The strip is a glorified street, once you step off that strip it is nothing but terrible. It’s very misleading,” says Jeremy. “My goal was to go out to Vegas for my career—and there is some great dining, and there are wonderful things about the city—I just went off that path.”

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates almost 17% of Las Vegas area residents over the age of 12 have used illicit drugs (not considering marijuana or prescription drugs). In 2016, 7.5% of all deaths were attributed to methamphetamine, ecstasy, and other psychostimulants. Addiction, as Jeremey defines it, is a misleading relationship. At first, he felt great, looked good, was successful, but ultimately he wound up spending two months in a hospital after being in Vegas. He’d lost 75 pounds since the day he arrived five years prior. His kidneys started to shut down.

“It was really, really bad,” says Jeremy. “And there was absolutely nothing out there to help. I was looking for help.”

One night in the park, a police officer saw complete desperation on the face of Jeremy, who wanted only to go home. After their meeting, the officer got Jeremy a bus ticket east.

“I needed to come home to love. That’s what saved me,” says Jeremy, the recounting of the story touching him emotionally. “I came home with a pair of jeans and a bag full of paperwork. It’s crazy. I had a lot of healing to do.”

Moving home eliminated his access to drugs. It also humbled him. He didn’t expect to be moving into his parent’s home in his late 30s.

“I had to work really hard. I put my ass on the bus every day to go to work. I had to do the work, but I have a wonderful family who support me. Inevitably, it was up to me to put myself back on a successful journey,” says Jeremy. “There are weak moments, but I have to just focus on the good that is happening now. So many positive things have happened over the past three years that it would be a complete waste of time to ruin it for a high.”

Completely clean, he’s now a licensed Realtor and he thanks many great mentors for the success he is having in his new occupation. Real estate and the relationships it builds are his new highs.

“Buying a home is a memorable moment in most people’s lives. To come from where I was…it is amazing to me. It feels really good,” Jeremy says; he’s happy to be back in “whack” Lancaster County. “Vegas is not a fond memory. There’s nothing I built out there that I miss.”

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