Second Chances - Second Time Around

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We are pleased to share a client story from Kathleen M. Singleton-Apel, former case manager at the Spokane Residential Reentry Center. Pioneer operates all four of the federal residential reentry centers in Washington state. The reentry programs serve as a bridge from incarceration to life in the community. 
Note: Kathleen has recently transitioned into the supported employment specialist with Foundational Community Supports at our residential treatment program, Pioneer Center East.

Our reentry centers assist formerly incarcerated individuals with a successful transition through an array of services focused on finding and retaining employment, reconnecting with families, overcoming a substance use disorder and other issues, and becoming productive members of society.

Through a contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Pioneer serves men and women referred from federal prison at all of the residential reentry centers in Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma, Washington.

Kathleen said, “I would like to share a second chance reflection story on Amanda (pictured), one of my former client’s. In In 2016, Amanda was one of the first female client placements at the recently opened co-ed Spokane Residential Reentry Center (SRRC). The other reentry center in Spokane is males only. She was assigned to Johnson-Connors, case manager, and successfully transitioned into her programming and placement. Amanda reunified with family, obtained employment and progressed so that she was granted home confinement, ultimately releasing from her Federal Bureau of Prisons sentence term in 2017.” 

Substance Abuse
“Unfortunately, a past substance use addiction came back to haunt Amanda, as addiction often does, and she succumbed to using again in 2018. This caused violations to her probation conditions which sent her back to prison. The second time around, Amanda knew she needed to make real life changes. When she was sent back to the SRRC, she embraced this second chance and voluntarily sought out substance use disorder treatment. In her second residency at SRRC, Amanda was assigned to me as a new case manager, and together we recognized she needed to make a complete cycle of changes and build a long-term support system and sustainable lifestyle change,” Kathleen added. 

Training and Employment
Kathleen shared, “Employment is a key factor in reducing recidivism so I suggested a training program for Amanda. Amanda agreed to enroll in the Association of General Contractors (AGC) - Headstart to Construction program. In the six-week training course, Amanda received intensive exposure to skilled trades while earning an OSHA 10 certification, flagger certification, forklift and heavy equipment training and first aid/CPR certification. She graduated in April 2023 and was the selected student speaker at the ceremony."

She continued, "I attended the AGC Headstart to Construction graduation and was so proud to hear her instructors sharing glowing reflection on the growth Amanda made throughout the training program. When the facilitator asked all the graduates to turn around and 'see all the support here for you,' I distinctly recall seeing Amanda's face stoic - but prepared for disappointment - as she believed no one had come to see her graduation. But, as she turned around, her whole face beamed with a smile as she spotted me and began waving to me with tears in her eyes. That moment reaffirmed the worth in our work and the impact we share with our clients as they move through their journey."

Kathleen continued, “Amanda has since submitted an application and been accepted into Local 238 Union as a flagger, with anticipation for her future career. She will be releasing soon from her second placement with SRRC and we have secured housing at Revive clean and sober transitional housing where she will continue to work on her recovery and build her support system.”

Amanda’s Focus
When Amanda was asked to give three thoughts from her first time being with SRRC, she stated the following, “Failure is not an option,” and “Even though life throws you curve balls, get on track,” and finally, “Even though we lose things we love the most, we can never give up in moving forward.”

Today, in her second residency at SRRC, Amanda’s three statements include, “The past doesn’t determine your future,” and “Don’t take NO as a final answer,” in addition to, “Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” 

When asked what was different this time, Amanda reflected by saying, “I’m sick of that old life and being locked up.” She is taking life serious this time and embracing a healthy, sober life, while building a legitimate career. Amanda reported feeling better equipped and transformed this second time at SRRC. She shared her appreciation of the residential reentry staff encouraging her to be better person and holding her accountable. When she looks in the mirror today, she sees someone worthy of love and a second chance. She also sees someone building a healthy life. 

Amanda shared, “I want everyone to know that Pioneer’s mission, vision and values are real, and I have become a changed person because of my time at the SRRC!”

Thursday, May 4, 2023