The Program has helped me because, by them paying my rent, I was able to catch up on other bills. It took stress off of me for the 6 months knowing that my rent would be paid, on time, every month. The Program assisted me in tension I was having with my landlord. It allowed me to take money that I would have had to pay for rent and do special things with my mom, my brother and my nieces so we can make memories and bond, being I was locked away upstate for three years. The financial literacy class was good and it helped me learn about saving my money and understand my credit. Anytime I needed to talk, they would listen to me.
I write this as a letter of gratitude for the act of kindness and caring that was provided to me. I received rental assistance and, because of the rental assistance, I was able to make the adjustments from prison to society much more realistic and doable. One may ask, how? First, I felt a sense of security knowing that I had a roof over my head until I could get on my feet. This was more than the boost that I needed. With the money saved, I was able to fix my credit and purchase a used car so that I could get back and forth to work. I was able to help out with the financial cost of raising my 12 year old son. More than anything else, it restored my faith in people as a whole. There are people that do care and really want guys like me to get back in the game of life and be productive men. To me, I never saw the help with the rent as a handout; I always saw it as a hand-up. The staff at The Program made sure that I knew it was a hand-up. To this day, I am grateful that my Parole Officer told me to go up to Derry Street and see the staff at The Program. It was never about a check from The Program – it was about a group of people who helped me get my life in order. The check was only a part of the process and, for that, I’m truly grateful.