The Many Firsts of Re-entry
Pictured is Kris on his first day out, shopping at Target with his extremely supportive sister who drove down from the Bay Area to welcome Kris home, take him shopping and out to his first "free" meal. As you might be able to gather from this photo, Kris is overcome by the day's events.
Pictured is Lynn and Mike, the day Mike was released, before heading to San Francisco. Not only did Lynn secure Mike with financial resources, she was there to welcome him home.
The Many Firsts
- Michael Nelson
Thanks to my dear friend, Lynn, she raised funds for the day that I would be released from prison. By emailing a number of her friends, she told the story of her friend who had been incarcerated since the age of 15 and who was entering the world, for the first time as an adult. With the support of Lynn and her circle of friends, I was able to enter into the world with some financial relief; otherwise, I would have had only the $200 that CDCR provides known as "gate money".
With the privately donated nest-egg, I was able to immediately purchase clothes, toiletries, bedding, my first cell phone, food and everyday essentials - items not provided by the transitional housing program that I would live in for the next eight months.
I was one of the fortunate people (on top of being given a second chance at life) to have an immediate full-time job offered to me upon my release; this is not the case for everyone being released from prison. Even with a full-time job, the ability to immediately purchase essential items provided me with some relief - not only financially, but also mentally and emotionally.
Inspired by Lynn's forward thinking, thoughtfulness and her love for me, Kid C.A.T. now offers
The Many Firsts of Reentry as a way to support members of our program as they transition from lives in prison. This program provides some relief during a pivotal time in their lives and helps create a grace period where they can begin to prepare for the next steps of the rest of their lives!
The Many Firsts of Reentry is one way I can say thank you to Lynn and to the many people who supported me - by creating an opportunity for others to also be supported.