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“Before Operation New Hope, I was lost. I was dealing with a lot of issues and chemical dependence. As I was completing a 15 year prison sentence, I met Ronnie Cage from the Ready4Release team, and I’m so glad I did. Ronnie got me signed up for the program, and I met with him 3-4 times prior to release. He provided support and guidance and even helped me get started on getting my driver’s license reinstated. I haven’t had a license since 2003, and Ronnie brought me the study guide in prison, so I would be prepared when I got out. He also told it to me straight. He said that if you’ve got issues, you have to deal with that monster now in order to get your life on track.
“I followed his advice and came straight to Operation New Hope for the Ready4Work program. Everyone here has been so supportive! I was struggling with a lot of anxiety after being away for so long. Everything was moving so fast with everyone on their phones and computers. But my counselor, case manager, and job coach were so helpful in getting me the training and support I needed to be successful. I got help putting together a resume that communicated the work I did while in prison and was able to land a great job with Coca Cola.
“I love my job. I have been there for over two months and it’s another home for me. I am going to learn as much as I can. I got my driver’s license, working on buying a car, and looking into getting my CDL. My next plan is get a food truck and be ready for the next Jaguars season to sell snacks to the tailgating fans.
“It’s all about accepting the help when it’s offered. Without Operation New Hope, I would probably be making the wrong decisions and be right back where I was by now. Instead, I am doing good and finally be able to take care of myself. My niece had a birthday this past weekend, and I was able to reach into my pocket and give her a gift – it felt so great!”
Check out this great letter we recently received from Fred’s supervisor. We love to hear feedback from our employment partners regarding our Ready4Work clients and it doesn’t get much better than this! Thanks to our partners at Coca Cola for believing in second chances.
At Operation New Hope, we believe that we are all better than our worst mistake, worst day, or worst decision. We believe in people’s ability to transform their lives through commitment and hard work. We see it every day as we support our clients’ reentry and growth. With the skills learned and confidence gained from our Ready4Release, Ready4Work and Ready4Success programs, our participants go on to become productive community members and build successful careers earning living wages. Read more stories of transformation, success and hope!