Be a Beacon of Hope for People Like Darnell

Be a Beacon of Hope for People Like Darnell

05/03/2019

Negative behavior in the streets of Brooklyn seemed like Darnell’s ticket out of the shelter system. “There was only one way up from the shelter, so everything was a plus,” he says, “any way I could make money…I just chased it.” These methods of survival rooted in the scarcity of his circumstances became “a lifestyle and addictive.” It also caught up with him: Soon, he was face to face with the criminal justice system, looking at prison time. Stuck in a cell, the causes of Darnell’s behavior would have been left unaddressed. Luckily, his court advocate knew that his future deserved more. She recommended for him to be court mandated to The Fortune Society’s Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) program instead.

In group discussions and with Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), Darnell discovered the ways in which he was living a lifestyle rooted in mistrust. Our counselors, many of whom have direct experience with justice involvement, helped him see that the success and stability he craved required confronting toxic habits and strengthening integrity.  “I wanted to work my way up to grace, and I’m still working my way up to grace,” he shares.

After he completed our ATI program, Darnell immersed himself in more of our comprehensive resources. From 24-Hour Dads, a fatherhood support group, to Creative Arts, Darnell is a clear example of the transformative power of a positive community.

“I’m still here even though I was mandated. I thought I wouldn’t be here that long, but once I started learning what [Fortune] was about, I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to go anywhere. There’s only one way up, and that’s just to keep pushing forward.”

Article by Root Stitches LLC

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