It is without a doubt that being incarcerated is both difficult and stressful. As a result, many returning citizens that come to Riverside House are in a position where they are trying to find their way back into society while navigating a multitude of challenges, especially when they have been incarcerated for a long time.
One of our residents was faced with an additional stress as a returning citizen as his family resides in another country. Here is his story as told by one of our chaplains:
Mr. Juan Rivera* believes that he has been very blessed in his transition since coming to Riverside House. For over 20 years, Mr. Rivera was incarcerated, and on his own with little support before arriving at our facility. Because his parents and siblings are currently living in Central America, throughout his prison sentence he had to rely solely on his wife and her parents for support.
When he first arrived at Riverside House, Mr. Rivera was welcomed with open arms. He expressed that he was overwhelmed by the respect each returning citizen receives. He also relayed to our staff that as he settled in as a resident at Riverside House, his case manager was very transparent, and she explained the rules and regulations to him without speaking in a condescending tone.
Additionally, Mr. Rivera stated that his wife and her family have been an amazing support system for him coming out of prison. For example, his wife’s parents frequently call him and pray with him over the phone. Throughout his incarceration, they never spoke down to him and were one of the first ones to visit him once he arrived at our facility.
Although Mr. Rivera believes that he was once a negative part of our society, he now believes that because of his transitional housing experience, he has been able to learn the positive way of living his life. When Mr. Rivera met with one of our chaplains recently, he stated that he was very thankful for the Life Skills classes he attends at Riverside House and that they have helped him tremendously as a man in transition.
Through your support, we can continue to help our clients achieve transitional success as they come out of prison and back into our community. Please consider a financial donation to help support our mission of guiding ex-offenders into a more positive life path.
*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of our client.