I came to Hope after being incarcerated for 30 years. I wanted to be near my daughter and grandchildren and build a better relationship with them. Here at Hope, I’ve gained a new family. When I got here, I only had the clothes on my back but now I have plenty of clothes, food, a church family, and a Hope family.
The people here inspire me. There are so many projects that go on at Hope and I get to be a part of that. It keeps me busy physically and mentally, and I appreciate the opportunity to serve and work. I especially like working in the kitchen. When I work in the kitchen, I get to see things that I didn’t get to see while I was incarcerated. I get to help people who are physically disabled and every day I get to find new inspiration. I’m so thankful I get to be here. Sometimes it fills me up so much that it comes spilling out!
Since I’ve been here at Hope, I’ve been working on my relationships with my family. I have a good relationship with my daughter. I took my great granddaughter with me to church on Sunday and as I knelt at the alter she was right there by my side. The opportunity for me to be at Hope has opened up so many doors for me in my life - I’ve reconnected with my family and I’ve reconnected with society.
Here at Hope, people really care about how I am and I really care about how they are. That makes me want to connect and reach out more. I wear my name tag everywhere I go because I’m proud of being a resident of Hope. It’s not just a bed to me -–it’s a new life. It’s a new life and a new lifestyle and I’m never going to give up.
I graduated from Hope’s classes last Friday, and I didn’t want it to end. I loved the classes and the structure. I continue to take extra classes and I want to get all that I can out of these opportunities. Hope is feeding me food - spiritual and mental food that is helping me in this new life.
This will be my first Christmas that I will be spending with my Hope family, and I look forward to enjoying the festivities and worshipping God with my community here. When I was incarcerated I worked through the holidays and just existed, but now I have a life and I’m looking forward to enjoying this Christmas season at Hope.