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.
My name is Will. I am 14 years clean from drugs and alcohol. I did 13 years in state prison. I was released after 13 years in SCI Graterford. Life has changed. There were many fears when I got out about how I was going to make a new life for myself. About how things were going to be. If I could even, make it. Or if I would go back to prison. Upon my release, I gained employment at Vantage Foods where I was promoted to a mechanical operator in there roll stock department. This is my first job that I have held for more than a year. I have made many new friends who have become vital to my support system. I just recently made my one-year anniversary of being out of prison. This year has been many new experiences for me and a lot of first-time experiences. The Program’s Housing Assistance program has allowed me to manage and save my money. I was able to budget my money and can now look into purchasing a car. I owe my success to the help I received by my prison mentor Robert Rhodes from the Pennsylvania Prison Society, who worked with The Program and helped me find my place where I now live and who was my go between in communicating with the outside; The Program that has been there to guide me in my first year out; and to Keith Sultzbaugh, CEO of Accountable Prison Ministries, who is my mentor through The Program. Keith has not only been my mentor. I consider Keith a good friend who has helped me in times of need and has helped me gain my own furniture so I can own my own stuff.