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Navigating a New World

After serving six years behind bars, Gail experienced immense difficulty reentering his community. Not only did his parole restrictions limit his ability to support himself with employment, but customary activities such as transportation became a daily obstacle. 

“When you get out of prison, the world is a different place for you. Everything is a struggle. I didn’t even know how to ride a bus. I wasn’t used to traveling more than 100 feet without having a wall or a fence. It’s a practice humans develop in a bigger environment, and you can lose that.” 

After months of enduring financial and mental hardship, Gail’s struggles became focused on his basic survival which resulted in an urgent need for employment and career guidance. At the age of 63, Gail knew he needed to work to survive, but most importantly he wanted purpose.  

Gail attempted to apply for jobs but unfortunately, he was consistently met with denial. His parole restrictions limited his accessibility to resources used by almost all hiring agencies and application processes, and his past education and professional experience – which his conviction prohibits him from returning to - deemed him overqualified for jobs he applied to.  

This is when Gail found H.I.R.E. At first, he had low expectations fearing more denial. To his surprise, he was met with kindness, respect, and enthusiasm.  

“It was friendly, it was respectful; people in my situation don’t always get friendly and respectful, especially the respectful part. It was non-judgmental. And the thing about it was that they actually sounded enthusiastic about helping and being of service to get me to the next level.” 

H.I.R.E. worked with Gail to eliminate obstacles he had been facing. Gail received career guidance and assistance to craft a resume aligned with a job he would feel satisfied with. He also was assisted with applying for housing, and most importantly, developed a support system designed to keep him accountable. After just a few weeks, H.I.R.E. placed Gail into a job that fit his expectations and parole restrictions.  

“H.I.R.E. took into account my restrictions and said they were going to try to get me something meaningful and I’d enjoy doing. I didn’t get a speech about just taking what was out there. They were really good at working with me as an individual which is the biggest reason I chose to stick with H.I.R.E.'' 

Employment to Gail was a huge step in rebuilding his life. With this financial security, Gail now has the opportunity to hone his passion for art and began creating oil paintings. He has recently been selling his art to the community and looks forward to more developments in his pursuit of art.  

Gail continues to work with H.I.R.E. to rebuild his future and is excited to start this new chapter in his life with the goal of self-sustainability and feeling fulfilled.  

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