We are proud to share this story from Jim Gants, our assistant director of the Brownstone Work Release in Spokane, Washington. Jim has worked at Brownstone for 23 years and assisted many men transitioning back into their community after being incarcerated.
The Brownstone Work Release is a male-only facility with 80-beds. The center helps 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. At Brownstone, the D.A.D.S. program is also offered that assists fathers with resources to help them develop a sense of self, family, and community responsibility through education, effective parenting, mentoring and partnering.
Success Feels Good
Our facility has been undergoing a lot of construction recently to update needed items and improve the building. Last week when I was walking outside the facility, one of the construction workers yelled down to me from the roof, “Hey, do you remember me?” I really could not remember him at first, but after we spoke for a while it clicked. His name was Mike and he had been a resident at Brownstone a few different times over the 23 years I’ve worked at the facility.
Mike shared with me that he had been out for ten years now and was working very hard and enjoying being clean and sober. After making repeated mistakes and several bad choices, Mike landed in prison a few times. He came through the Brownstone Work release each time and the programs and positive reinforcement really stuck with him the last time he was a resident. He is now a responsible and productive citizen that has put his old ways behind him.
Mike also proudly told me he is now the father of a 7 month old baby boy that he clearly adores. He has really turned his life around and gave credit to the Brownstone programs and staff for helping him get it right and become successful. Sometimes men just aren’t ready to make the big changes needed to really turn their lives around. It takes a real drive and perseverance to overcome the struggles of addiction and having a criminal record.
It is so rewarding to meet up with past residents who have made positive changes in their lives and are doing great now. While Mike and I were talking a second member of the three-man crew approached me and let me know that he had also been at Brownstone ten years ago and now is living a clean and sober life and feeling grateful. As I walked away a big smile came to my face as I celebrated what we do here at Brownstone. It felt great to realize what an impact we can make on individuals’ lives. Their success makes me feel real good! - Jim Gants, Assistant Director, Brownstone Work Release