Those who come to Riverside House after a long and painful journey, seek redemption and a second chance at life. We are inspired by one client who has endured unfathomable difficulty but has nonetheless persevered with hope and gracious gratitude in his newfound freedom.
*Jimmy Stevens had been in a maximum-security prison for 25 years. He had been stabbed in prison and left for dead, endured the uncompassionate treatment from officers, and was facing a life sentence. However, when speaking to Mr. Stevens, you would never guess this because even through his many trials and tribulations, he gives God the glory. He believes God delivered him from the pits of misery, and he is grateful for the opportunity to have resided in Riverside House before being released back into the community.
While speaking to Mr. Stevens, he added that his father died when he was just a year old, and his absence contributed to him entering into a world of crime, which is the case for many others. “A father is like the hammer and a mother is like the nail,” he said as an analogy that showcases the influence and importance each parent has in someone’s future.
During his stay at Riverside House, Mr. Stevens showed grace and appreciation for his second chance at life, despite his past troubles. He highlighted that the ability to speak with staff on a daily basis and have a genuine dialogue with them was so refreshing for him. While in prison, he seldom saw his case managers or the same staff throughout any given week. He has expressed his appreciation for the wonderful atmosphere and the positive staff at Riverside.
Furthermore, during his enrollment at our facility, his common message was, “Run to God,” meaning that we must always look for God in every facet of our lives. He also encouraged his fellow students to seek to be better in the future than they were in the past.
Mr. Steven’s testimony highlights his gratitude for the time he spent at Riverside House, and more importantly how God’s grace has covered him. We are tremendously proud of his progress, commitment, leadership and most of all, his unwavering faith.
* Name changed to protect the individual’s privacy.