James is still sober and attends monthly meetings. It took a lot of hard work but he never wants to go back to where he was. He stated, “That was the last 20 years of my life and I am now looking forward to the rest of my life.” James also gives back to the community by volunteering at Paula’s House. He stated, “Paula Whitman has always been in my corner and I wanted to not only give back to the community but to her.” James often looks back at where he was, how and where he ended up and where he is now. He is happy and at peace. He recently moved into his first apartment by himself. James is a perfect example that hard work pays off. He not only has his family support but the community support. James has more goals to reach and with his positive attitude, he will accomplish them.
- Offender Success
James Byrd, an ex-offender living in Monroe, Michigan, was enrolled in the Prisoner Re-Entry Program at Michigan Works! Monroe Service Center. He was incarcerated for 13 years and was released in November 2014.
James was referred to Michigan Works! by his Parole Agent. He signed up with Michigan Works on December 5, 2014. James was receiving Food Stamps, he was dual enrolled in the Food Assistance Employment and Training Program (FAE&T) along with the Prisoner ReEntry Program. Cari Grahl, Re-Entry Liaison, met with James to review his barriers and employment goals. James’s barriers were that he needed work clothes, substance abuse issues and transportation funds.