Leaving prison after 24 years was like landing in another country with nothing but the clothes on your back…minus the clothes on your back. I was terrified that I’d forever be judged based upon my worst moment; that I’d never be accepted back into society. It felt like I had a tattoo on my forehead that read “Excon.” Out of fear, caution, and a bit of hope, I enrolled in The Program. In retrospect, it was one of the best decisions I made. I was teamed up with a Mentor, Keith, who has helped me in so many ways. Keith listens to my concerns, lends invaluable advice / guidance, and connects me to resources I didn’t know existed. I’ve been out for nine (9) months now, and am doing great. I am employed, compliant with all the rules of parole, and have a strong support system. If not for The Program, I may have fallen into the cycle of recidivism that sends 75% of offenders back to prison. Because of The Program, I am proof that successful reentry is possible with adequate resources.
The Program was there for me and supported me through the hardships of coming home and starting over. It didn’t matter what the issue was, there was always someone to help me. I am forever grateful that I took this opportunity and attribute a lot of my success to the people that helped me get here. I have a good job, a wonderful relationship with my children and have made a friend, my mentor. The Program is a commitment and you have to be dedicated to the process and trust your advisors. It can be hard, but if you put your all into it…awesome things happen!!
Success is…it works if you work it. The Program has given me the necessary tools needed for me to set a foundation of productive living. Upon arriving, I was greeted with arms of motivation. They set me up with structure – generating, first, an income. Next was budgeting this income to become independent. Second was becoming financially informed. Understanding the core of budgeting, for a productive living, they assisted me in fixing my credit and organizing paying my debt. The Program paid six months of my rent to help me reorganize my life, giving me the room I needed to catch up on my past debt due to incarceration. I was even able to reconnect with my daughter and provide financial support to her. The Program gave me the support I needed to be productive in all aspects of life. Upon completion of The Program, I had saved up over $3,000 and paid a great portion of my debt. I was able to get 3 major credit cards and purchase a car. I had a chance to structure my life and also my business.
This is hardly a “success story” according to the conventional sense, but from all I’ve seen and “DONE” it’s a success to me. It’s the good in the world like “The Program”, that causes people like me to reconsider their choices. Without good people and programs like yours I’d be in a much darker place at this juncture. Thanks to you and so many others, I was able to start a small business, even with my background, and it is doing well. I believe that the type of good that’s shown through programs and people like you changes the world for the better and gives us all a reason to hope!! Thank you!
Life can be hard. It’s all about the choices we make. Sometimes we make bad choices, and sometimes we have to deal with the consequences. I used to be a lot of things, but my God meets me where I’m at. The Program believed in me when no one else did, and for that, my family and I are forever grateful. Thank you so much for your love and support.
I am not from PA and I have no family here. I was employed but not making enough money. When I first came to The Program, I felt it was a great opportunity to finally be able to get my finances back on track. The Program helped me keep a roof over my head and obtain financial freedom while being able to get back on track and out of my living conditions at the time. I’m now ahead on my student loans and gained a rainy day fund. The financial classes were helpful. I was taught a lot about banking and credit improvements. I was also taught the road to being financially stable has to begin with taking a hard look at your spending habits and that has helped me tremendously. The staff has been very supportive and always been resourceful, especially my case manager.
The Program has helped me develop avenues essential to my successful re-entry into society. They have done this by working with my Parole Agent for referral purposes, thereby granting me my mentor, who through his own area of expertise, knowledge and resources has provided opportunities that have helped me sustain healthy relationships as well as helped me create goals imperative to success. The Program has helped me develop a savings plan through their housing assistance program as well as provided me with financial knowledge with their Finance class.
My name is Michael Williams and I did 5 years in prison. Then, I went to a halfway house for 10 months, got my apartment and was released. I was out for a month and started drinking. It wasn’t long until my PO found me drunk, so he put my in a rehab. That is where I was introduced to The Program. The Program gave me a Mentor named Kenny. Kenny introduced me to an AA meeting – that is where I learned that I was an alcoholic. With the help of my Mentor, Kenny, and The Program, I learned that I can live life without alcohol. I got a sponsor and kept going to meetings. And, with the help of my Mentor and my sponsor, I’m 14 months clean and I never felt this good in my entire life. If you are getting started with recovery, I recommend The Program. It is a wonderful program to start your life over again.
The Program, It’s About Change has been able to help me out with my rent. They have never let me down. It’s a great program to work with and they always help when you are in need. They are always there to talk to you. The Financial Literacy Classes have been helpful because I have learned about things that I was not aware of.
I would like thank The Program for providing me with housing assistance while I obtained my CDL license. Because of The Program, I was able to acquire the skills I needed for a higher paying job without the stress that accompanies reintegration into society. I am forever indebted to The Program, and I especially thank Mrs. Alice-Anne and Ms. Julia, who continue to be instrumental in my success. Because of The Program, I am on my way to reach heights one could only imagine to become a productive member of society.