Finding employment and reestablishing a life as a returning citizen can be a tough task. We are often blessed with hearing success stories during our exit interviews; however, we recently established a new alumni program with the goal of offering post-prison support to the individuals who have gradated from our reentry programs. Our Chaplain, Mr. Henton, recently spoke with two of our former clients who were able to share positive stories following their graduation from our residential reentry program.
When *Melissa Conrad was released from Riverside House in November of 2016, she found it difficult to find even part-time employment. There were days and weeks where it seemed daunting, and the idea of spending even more time trying to find a reentry point into outside employment was putting a strain on her self-esteem. She was frustrated by the lack of employment opportunities presented through a temp agency, which did not offer substantial long-term opportunities. However, she did have the support of people close to her, including her probation officer who was extremely understanding of her situation.
Ms. Conrad refused to let her frustrations stop her and she continued to search for a permanent employment opportunity. Her persistence and determination paid off as she secured full-time employment at the Nike Warehouse, and also chose to continue her education by enrolling in classes at the local college. She is currently living with family, but will be searching for a place of her own in the near future. Ms. Conrad credits the team at Riverside House for being an inspirational and positive force in her life.
What many people may not know is that we also assist folks in varying life stages with reentry. Former client, *Amelia Connor, is retired and currently looking for volunteer opportunities after her graduation from our program in December of 2016. She told Mr. Henton that she is doing well, and looking forward to the opportunities to give back to her community. We provided her with contacts and resources to pursue volunteer opportunities, and we look forward to speaking with her soon about her progress.
At Riverside House, we are proud of our alumni who choose to pursue employment and community-focused initiatives that give them opportunities for happiness and success. We look forward to sharing more of our positive alumni stories.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.