One of our favorite success stories so far would be that of Mr. James, (what he is affectionately called by his friends).
Mr. James was convicted of having an ounce of pot. He went to jail in February 2010 . He served 28 months in jail and will be on probation for 7 years. He is currently 62 yrs. old.
Like so many men and women, the return to civilian life was not an easy one. He had nowhere to live, no money, no job and no food. As is many communities, those with felony’s do not qualify for housing, food stamps or a job. Some great friends helped when they could with a place to stay. As more and more doors were shut in his face, he became overwhelmed and depressed.
Life didn’t seem worth much. It was as though he was set up to fail again.
His probation officer fussed about him moving from place to place. This only added to his frustrations. He was trying so hard to get his life back in order. Hard to do when everyone keeps throwing up your past and no one is willing to give you a break. His first break came when he qualified for a job program through Goodwill. That was the start to getting his life back.He loves those he works around and they love him back. He is a hard worker and is well respected by his peers.
Through a partnership with Goodwill, Mr. James came to PUSH and has been an active member of the Restoring Hands/P.U.S.H. team!
Mr. James said he no longer feels he has to walk with his head down. He is no longer depressed and is happier than he has been in 20 years.He says he can look people in the eye and doesn’t have to be ashamed. He loves living now. All this possible because someone cared to take a chance and give him a break.