Sometimes life takes us in directions that we don’t expect. Despite our best efforts, we may make mistakes and falter. And while we can’t go back and change the past, we can most certainly change our future one day at a time. At Riverside House, we work with formerly incarcerated individuals on guiding them towards living a positive and productive life, regardless of their past.
Here is the story of one of our recent graduates, who had a college education and a young son, but made poor decisions leading her to serve time in prison. Our Chaplain, Mr. Harrell Henton, who conducted her exit interview, shares her story.
*Ms. Tasha Harper came to Riverside House with uncertainty regarding her next move. Ms. Harper is a college graduate that seemed to have her life going in the right direction, but somewhere along her road of life, she ended up in prison. When she came to Riverside House, she was looking to reconnect with her little boy, and perhaps capture the momentum that she had before being incarcerated.
While she was at Riverside House, she began seeking employment in an area that was totally opposite of her career goals and degree concentration. Nevertheless, she persevered in spite of the challenges of going into an unfamiliar working environment. After a few weeks of filling out job applications, and going on interviews, Ms. Harper received a call from a local restaurant. The position that she was offered was to be a server, which she believed fit her personality.
As Ms. Harper began working at the restaurant and saving money, she began to gain self-esteem again. While speaking with Mr. Henton, she stated that she really appreciated the people at Riverside House. She was officially released from her sentence in early September and during her exit interview, she stated that she appreciated this process of transition. We are praying for Ms. Harper as she enters into the next stage of her life, and that God blesses her tremendously.
*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.