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As part of our Second Chance Month celebrations, Operation New Hope is excited to announce we are growing to meet the needs of thousands who are returning from courts, jails, and prisons to our communities every month. We have developed a strategic plan to create a statewide network of reentry services throughout Florida and will be opening our Ready4Work Central Florida program location during the summer 2022.
We have begun building a coalition of community partnerships to support our Ready4Work Central Florida location and are pleased for the opportunity to partner with Jesse Boyd of Boyd Faith Hope and Love Ministries to provide future clients with safe transitional housing. Jesse is a Ready4Work graduate himself, so he understands the importance of second chances and has committed his life to helping others.
We recently sat down with Jesse to talk about how the Ready4Work program changed his life and set him on the road to finding his life’s purpose. Here’s what Jesse had to say:
“Growing up, life was always about the hustle. It wasn’t just an option, it was the way of life. I didn’t have a mom and father at home to teach and discipline me. It was just me and the streets – always hustling. But after serving 11 years in federal prison, I was ready to transition to a life of purpose. I knew that if I was going to change, I needed to be around positive people to learn how to transition from a life of doing wrong to a life of doing right.
God took the blinders from my eyes and showed me what purpose and fulfillment looks like. He did so by directing me to the Ready4Work program at Abe Brown Ministries. When I was released in 2014, I became one of the first graduates from the Ready4Work Hillsborough program location, where I learned the importance of work ethic. Ready4Work taught me to be accountable, give back, always do more than expected, and lead by example. I learned that I must contribute and be accountable, no matter what others are doing around me. Ready4Work helped me navigate from living by street code to living by a citizen’s code. The program showed me how transition to a life that allowed me to be part of a society.
I took what I learned from Ready4Work and have applied it to every job since. I work hard not just for myself, but to make my Ready4Work team proud and be an example ex-offender who is paving the way for others.
Once you find your purpose, everything becomes easy and you can have peace. I am now focusing fulltime on ministry, working to move individuals from hopelessness to secure housing. My wife Daisy and I started Carletta Houses to create decent, affordable housing opportunities that give our clients dignity while in transition. The goal of the Carletta Houses is to improve the quality of life for Central Florida citizens through commitment, advocacy, and ensuring the provision of adequate affordable housing for our citizens. It is our goal to empower economically disadvantaged individuals and families, particularly those with very-low to moderate incomes, so Central Florida will have strong, diverse, and viable communities. We dedicated Carletta Houses as a tribute to my mother who loved people and had deep compassion for helping those who were less fortunate, no matter their background or lifestyle.”
We congratulate Jesse for finding his purpose in life and extend our deepest thanks to him for sharing his story with us. We look forward to working with him to ensure safe, stable homes for future Ready4Work Central Florida clients.
We invite you to join us in celebrating Second Chance Month this April – a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, and unlock second-chance opportunities for people who have completed their sentences to become contributing citizens. Follow our stories spotlighting second chances all month long. #SecondChanceMonth