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.
I just wanted to let you know what I learned in this program. I learned how to manage money and to have my own bank account. I am learning now how to own my own house. The financial literacy class taught me a lot and I was happy to take this program. Life is a little bit easier now. The Program’s Housing Assistance allowed me to save a lot of money. My rent is paid 4 months in advance, thanks to the assistance The Program provided 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.
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 have been coming to The Program for almost a year. Working with The Program has been a good experience. The Program helped me find a good place to live. When they started paying my rent, I was able to catch up bills, back payments and save money. I was able to buy a car with the money I saved. The financial literacy classes are helpful, too. It helped me learn to manage my money and save even more. I still use the budget sheets they gave us at home. Working with The Program has been great and can be life changing, as long as you use the help right.
After serving 10 years, I came back to Harrisburg to begin rebuilding my life. I have been working with the housing assistance program for about a year and a half. The staff at The Program is encouraging and working with them is a one of a kind experience. I am grateful for what they did for me and my wife. The financial assistance has been great and right on time. It helped me and my wife put our lives back together. I was able to save money and build my credit. The financial literacy class gave me major insight on ways to achieve opportunities for me and my wife. The staff helped a brother to keep focused and achieve my goals as well as stay out of trouble.
When I first came into the program I was very scared. I wanted help. I am a very young mother with 3 beautiful children that need a good mommy. I came here with an open mind and willingness to learn. The last 2 months have changed me in so many ways. I have grown as a woman and a parent. I have formed a bond with the other ladies in The Program, along with the girls in work release. I have learned that I am a person of importance and I matter. I have made mistakes. I don’t need to stay stuck in those mistakes anymore. I also have some guilt for the things I have done but I am finally able to move past them. I now know I am worth having a good life. The Program doesn’t just deal with teaching parenting skills, it’s about having more support systems in your life. Without The Program I’m not sure if I would be able to know my own worth. I deserve to have my children today. I will keep showing up!
After spending 18 years within the confines of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, I believed there was very little anyone could do to assist with my reentry. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong! While some other well-meaning groups talk, the folks at The Program put in the work. More specifically they have been willing to work as hard as I have to become a successful reentrant.
From before the date of my release the folks at The Program were professional and courteous. They understand the challenges and realities of reentering society. Since that time and through my release the folks at The Program have provided much needed guidance and insight, and not only directly but also through a vast network of professionals who genuinely want to help reentrants.
The Program has helped me to find a safe place to live, navigate the complexities of finding work, dealing with the government for food and medical assistance, putting me in touch with a professional to help sort out my financial future, finding me a mentor, and so much more. Reentry takes work if you’re willing to put in the effort the folks at The Program will be right there with you shining the light showing you which tools to use and how to use them to get and stay free.