“I’ve never taken any kind of drugs… never smoked any type of cigarette or marijuana,” Israel says. Yet, he admits, he had an addiction to making fast money on the streets. But when he was arrested, the money didn’t matter. He was sentenced to prison for 15 years.
“At that point I started to rely on my spiritual center, my God,” he shares. He began studying the Bible and was fascinated with its teachings. As he grew in his relationship with the Lord, he began to realize the wrongs he had committed. “Knowing God brought about a change in me,” he says.
When he reached the end of his prison term, he was granted parole to The Foundry’s Re- Entry Program, where he embraced our Christ-centered environment. With gifts from friends like you, residents receive shelter and other life necessities, while faith-based counseling, life-skills classes and job training prepare them to transition back into the community.
Israel was grateful for the trust the staff placed in him from the very first day, and he vowed not to let them down. Soon he was given the responsibility of driving other residents to work and then asked to be a dorm leader.
Since graduating, Israel has continued his relationship with The Foundry, first as a volunteer and now on staff as night manager and program coordinator for the Re-Entry Program. His greatest joy is having his two children back in his life: a son he remained in contact with throughout his incarceration and a daughter he hadn’t seen since she was a toddler.
While Israel can’t make up for the past, he is grateful for the future. He believes the life and leadership skills he gained through opportunities with The Foundry have empowered him to take his place in society and to be a godly role model for his children. “It has given me the foundation I need to be a father,” he says.
To read the Fall 2017 newsletter that features this story, download it here.
Help other people like Israel…
Israel’s story of hope and healing is inspiring. Our long-term recovery programs exist to help other men and women in central Alabama find healing. Will you help provide this help to others?