Life, Literacy, Employment

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Learning the basic skills for finding and keeping a job can be a challenge. AHM helps those struggling with homelessness, joblessness and and who are returning to our community after being incarcerated to gain life skills and find permanent employment. We help with literacy skills and getting a GED for those who need it, as well. Last year we helped over 150 people build stability and hope.

by Pamela Drake, Offender Success Program Case Manager

As a caseworker for the Region 7 Offender Success Program at Advent House Ministries, I work with many different people who have just been released from prison. The vast majority have a strong drive to succeed in this world and do something positive with their second chance. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work with these courageous people and, here, to share the remarkable story of one young man.

Mr. Medellin showed up with no appointment and no referral, but with the instruction of his parole agent. He had just been released after serving eight years and three months in prison. Needing a referral, we waited for the documentation so I could help him. Mr. Medellin was patient and polite and totally understanding. When we completed our first meeting, his intake paperwork was done and he left with a clothing voucher, a bus pass, personal needs items and a voucher for the Share-A-Bike program.

Over the next couple of weeks, Mr. Medellin came in almost daily to take advantage of our computers to do job searches. I helped him with applications and creating a resume. His dedication and perseverance were surely the ingredients for success.

After a contact from a local business that was supportive of hiring those with past felonies, I arranged for Mr. Medellin to meet the company’s representative. When the two men met, it was clear that Mr. Medellin had the qualities the company wanted. The representative hired him on the spot. Not only that, but he also took him to the Secretary of State’s office to get his driver’s license and then to a training session for the job.

All of this was accomplished just 16 days after Mr. Medellin first walked through our doors!

Mr. Medellin has worked hard at his new job. He was in to see me yesterday and presented me with his very own business card – and his big news. He is now a “manager in training”! I am so truly proud of this wonderful young man and the accomplishments he has made in such a short time, including successful employment and finding an apartment of his own.

The company that hired him has hired others through our program. It realizes that people who made mistakes in their life are often those who are willing to work hardest when given the chance.

Advent House works with the Michigan Department of Corrections and the City of Lansing Office of Financial Empowerment to assist people coming out of prison and back to community life. This year we will assist about 100 men and women as they find the hope of a new beginning and a better future.