Guidance and Support Builds Successful Transition After Incarceration

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Pioneer Human Services’ staff is committed to the success of each client served. It is very rewarding for our employees to hear back from a former client expressing his/her gratitude for the help and guidance received in a program. 

Terry Britt was a former resident at the Spokane Residential Reentry Center (SRRC) that Pioneer operates under a contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He maintains contact with his former case manager at SRRC, Kathleen Singleton-Apel, and recently shared with her that his time in the program was instrumental to his success. 

Following are emails shared between Mr. Britt and Ms. Apel:

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Hi Ms Apel, 

I wanted to let you know that I have taken a job at Spokane County working as a peer support specialist. I wanted to thank you for all your help, guidance and support throughout my transition back into society. You were instrumental in my success and I will always be grateful for you believing in me when I was trying to figure out how to stop the negative cycle my life was in and take on the change needed to sustain a positive lifestyle. During my time working for Pioneer I was able to help people like me have a chance to vision change and apply it to their lives. I will always be available to assist you in resources and I still have a contact at Goodwill if you need me. I will forever be grateful to you for helping me while I was there. You have, and continue to be, a great asset to Pioneer and the community. 
Thank you again,
Terry Britt

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Mr. Britt,
I am so thrilled to hear of your success! Your future looks amazing. You embraced your transition, and made amazing lemonade from those sour times in your past. I appreciate the kind words, and keeping me updated. Often, I wonder how individuals are doing, and hope I helped things during their time working with me.
Thank you,
Kathleen Singleton-Apel

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Ms. Apel shared that Mr. Britt was incarcerated for 13 years in federal prison and was sent to the SRRC to finish the remainder of his sentence in the community. During his one-year residency at SRRC, he completed the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) in prison, and was required to continue into TDAT aftercare services through Pioneer’s Community Treatment Services, a reentry counseling effort that provides continuity of care for substance use disorders.

In his first few weeks at SRRC, Mr. Britt also enrolled in Pioneer’s Roadmap to Success job-readiness training program and obtained employment with Goodwill Industries. He expressed interest in giving back to the community through peer support, but was not confident about how he would be received in the community. I encouraged him and during the Spokane Pioneer Employee Summit in 2019, I arranged for Mr. Britt to be a guest speaker. He presented his testimonial about being a previously incarcerated individual who was transitioning back into society through the SRRC and Pioneer training programs. He was a well-spoken and inspiring presenter who really captured the interest of all who attended,” said Ms. Apel.

After speaking at the Summit, Mr. Britt became even more determined to make his vision - to sustain a positive lifestyle and give back through peer support – a reality. Mr. Britt applied for, and obtained, Certified Peer Specialist training. When he completed his Bureau of Prison term and was released from the SRRC program, he didn't stop there, he continued to follow his goals and push forward. 

The presentation at the Spokane Pioneer Employee Summit had drawn the attention of Pioneer’s recruiting staff. Mr. Britt was told about a peer navigator position opening and was eventually hired on as a Pioneer Peer Navigator in the Roadmap Program working out of the Spokane Resource Center at the Work Source office. During his time with Pioneer, Mr. Britt was able to help many other formerly incarcerated people develop their own vision, make positive changes and apply new skill sets learned to their lives. 

Recently, Mr. Britt was hired by Spokane County as a peer support specialist. In his new role, he has the perfect opportunity to continue his efforts in helping justice-involved individuals develop their own goals and path to a successful transition back into the community. 
Ms. Apel said, “Terry Britt embodies the mission, values, and purpose behind Pioneer Human Services. May his future shine on!”

Top picture: Terry Britt, Kathleen Singleton-Apel (L to R)
Bottom picture: Terry Britt speaking at Pioneer Employee Summit