From: Al Rothering, Director, Second Chance
I wasn’t prepared for the emotional ride the “Homeless...” article by Chris Rogers took me on. Fifteen minutes after reading it I was busy typing up “My Side.” All the frustration of dealing with a system that just didn’t care resurfaced. And it was now my chance to point fingers at what I did right and clearly show how the county dragged us through the dirt. At the end of 1,500 words it became very clear that I was whining about stuff that was gone, over and done with. And I really saw no need to go there anymore. But we need to get away from the whining and finger pointing and meet a need that’s not only ongoing, but on the increase.
Second Chance was down to one funded guy during that tough time. And still we took every call and covered every need that was brought here. That’s what’s important to those I call friend. Men at the farm took on two to three chores to get things done. It’s not just my effort. There’s something about taking a call on a homeless family, gearing up to find a bed for them, maybe a few fresh clothes and a warm meal. It’s addicting…in a good way. Guys come back to Second Chance for a meal, or to visit. Because this was their home, and they were treated like people.
This is not rocket science! The “system” is not only failing but compounding the issue by men re-entering an already overpopulated prison simply because we are not fixing it.
God is so amazing. He says “you’ll know them by their ‘fruits’”…within three weeks of an inmate being released from prison, his oppression is gone and the true “fruits” of his real character begin to show. And it becomes crystal clear as to whether his vacation has helped shape him. It’s at this point that a decision needs to be made to move him into a program to finish his rehab. I have no time for those who don’t want to grow; they are on another journey.
We have several programs we’ve started that were working. And testimonials to back it up. But I’m broke!
I’ve been investing my disability check each month to further this effort. I have sent letters to companies to get me work to do here on the farm for these guys, but no one cares. You can only hear, “Sorry, I don’t hire FELONS” so long before you just say screw it, I may as well offend.
Which of you has not screwed up??? Is it fair to sentence a man and also label him forever?
We made a difference! Without GRH funding! But I can’t fund this alone. You who have the bucks need to step up and do your part. Help me help those who need your help so badly. Someone was there for you. It’s now your turn!