Tina is a former client and now friend of the COC. Over the years, we have had an opportunity to see her transform and flourish after attending a Jobs for Life class. Tina shares “I have been in and out of prison most of my life. When I wasn’t in prison, most of it was lived without a home. I knew God was calling me out of darkness, but I couldn’t find the road.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I have been released from jail or prison, Bible in hand, and with every intention of staying clean and doing the right thing. But it didn’t stick.
In 2018, I got out of prison for the last time and I voluntarily went into a program that had me take a job training class at the COC. Everything was different this time. It was the first time I was introduced to a family (the COC) that has been there for me, supporting me and believing in me. So I guess you could say I met the staff at COC through job training, but it didn’t stop there.
They treated me like I had value. It impacted me so much that I came back to the next class as a volunteer. That part of the journey is amazing in itself, but it was so much more than that.
About 1 year after my release from incarceration, I reached a fork in the road and my next step was not clear. The people that I leaned on during that time were the staff from COC.
I ended up teaching job readiness for three sober living houses which eventually expanded into a management position. My new career often involved people who were in need of birth certificates or ID’s, but they didn’t have the resources. So now the COC has become an ever-present help in my assisting others.
Today I am actually a case worker who has the privilege of helping others who don’t have homes. The other day I had a series of meetings (one of them being at COC), and I had a moment where I did not recognize myself.
Did I tell you that I was even nominated for a returning citizen award (getting out of prison and doing the right thing)? That is what the COC is about.”
Tina is just one of countless women who share this experience. This is why the COC exists, to help those experiencing homelessness find hope. A roadmap to finding the path out of cyclical incarceration, poverty and homelessness. When you participate in our ministry, you extend a hand up to women like Tina. Thank you.