TPOM is here to walk with you during your transition from incarceration to independence. Many of of our graduates have made a successful reentry, reuniting with their families and successfully maintaining meaningful employment and sobriety.
Patrick Roper is a current resident who grasps the opportunities the reentry program provides him. Here’s what he had to say about his experience.
Tell us how you came to TPOM. At first, I thought I would go straight home. But then I saw a TPOM brochure at the Northeast Annex and I decided I needed to do the halfway house route. I kept feeling like the Lord was calling me to a program like TPOM’s.
What were some of the things you were thinking about when you first arrived? I didn’t have any great concerns. Even from my phone interview, David was so kind and welcoming that I felt like I would be in good hands. And when I got to the office that first day, everyone was so welcoming. They felt like family before they were family.
How did your job search go? Fred was a great help. I started immediately with Industrial at a low-skill job. I had better skills such as training as a block mason, but I got to get to work quickly. I was patient, did the work, and waited for a better opportunity. Now I have a great job and a Christian man for a boss. I work as a delivery clerk for J. E. Dunn and I manage all the delivery trucks as they come into the construction site (a major development project that includes the 100-year-old Neuhoff building in Germantown).
Tell me about your faith. I’m definitely a believer and I couldn’t have done it without the Lord’s help. “I was blind, but now I see,” as they say. I now can see the Lord at work. The story of the Prodigal Son keeps popping up in conversations. I always think, “That’s me!” The Lord keeps reminding me. I have a Bible app on my phone and every day I open it, do the devotional and Bible reading, and then pray. The Lord humbled me and now I’m a happy person.
What plans do you have for the future? I want a career. My boss has talked to me about certification as a safety specialist and staying on with the company. I’m on a saving kick; it’s like a hobby to me as I save for the future. I’m working on my relationship with my kids, enjoying my sister who’s my best friend, and seeing my dad.
What advice do you have for people preparing for the reentry process? If you are serious about a new beginning, here is the place. They make you feel safe and give you the tools to succeed. Then you put forth the effort. Whatever you need–clothing, work, medical care, emotional support–they provide. It makes you want to help the next person. These people are great; they make it easy to be good.
Nikki Abrams arrived two months ago to participate in the women’s program. She recently talked about how the program helps her plan a new life.
How did you hear about TPOM and what attracted you to the program? I heard about the program from a friend who was a resident. I completed my sentence, so I wasn’t mandated to a halfway house. But I wanted a faith-based program and a place where I could get good guidance. I missed out on a lot as a child. I lost my mom when I was 13, spent some time in foster care, and was homeless at times. I lost my sister to drugs two years ago and that helped me desire a different path.
How has TPOM been able to help with your reentry? I had never had anyone to teach me about things like opening a bank account, paying bills, and managing my money. I’ve got a good job at Kabinart and I hope to move up to the painting position. We get encouragement to stay sober, rules that keep us out of trouble, and instructions on staying safe. Life skills lessons, church, and counseling all help to keep us on a good path. God keeps opening doors and the support systems have given me such good help.
What’s the best thing about being in the Women’s House? Definitely the great sense of community. It is so great to have loving, caring people around you. It’s like the family I never had.
Tell us about your recent baptism. Randi and Thomas are great. I wanted to make a fresh start. I’m in a whole new world and I’m still growing.
What goals do you have for the future? I hope to stay in the area. I plan to get my license and an apartment. I also want to work on my G.E.D.
What advice would you give others who are considering the program?TPOM is one of the best sober-living programs that I know of. I’ve been telling everyone I talk to about TPOM. I would say to others, “Stick and stay.” Give it a chance. God has given you a second chance, so take it and make the most of it.