19 Action News is following a renewed fight against the heroin epidemic in northeast Ohio that's killing young people, even in the wealthiest suburbs.
Each balloon released at Sunday's event represented a life lost to heroin. For some, like Brian Ripley, the pain is fresh. Heroin killed his girlfriend's 25-year-old son.
"In moments of weakness, he would go back. And on Aug. 2, his father found him OD'd in the apartment they shared," said Ripley.
More than 30 churches make the group Hope over Heroin and share what they believe can help those caught in heroin's grip.
"The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it's a message of hope," said Rosalie Canfield.
"What they're missing in rehab centers is God," said Marion Macko.
Hope over Heroin hosts events throughout Ohio and Kentucky in an effort to stop the heroin epidemic that's sweeping the country. At the Cleveland event there was food, music and marching, but most importantly, help.
Scott Caraboolad overcame addiction and says it's not always obvious who needs help because heroin doesn't discriminate against age or race.
"A lot of them don't want to admit this happened," said Caraboolad. "It can creep up on anybody's life."
Those suffering from drug addiction can attend Hope Over Heroin events, where they can be easily connected with the correct resources for help. When those who need help go, they are met with open arms. It's healing for some, help for others, but hope for everyone.
"Get help, seek help, and be relentless. Don't give up," said Ripley.
Hope Over Heroin estimates it has connected nearly 2,500 people with the help they need at its events. The group will return to Ohio on Sept. 11-12 at Black River Landing in Lorain.