Eleanor was terrified when she first walked through our doors.
Would this be like prison all over again? Would the programs she heard about truly help her reclaim her life? It didn’t take long for her fears to subside—in fact, it took just the first few days. At The Fortune Society, Eleanor discovered people who understood her past and were committed to her future.
Eleanor is a born entrepreneur. From photography to food trucks, her business savvy has turned passion into profit time and time again. Justice involvement tried to derail her abilities, but she found a trajectory of hope at Fortune.
“[At Fortune], your success is essentially up to you. They provide the tools and you can use them or not. And I think the great thing about tools, just in general, is when you have them and you learn how to use them properly—which Fortune Society helps with—you can go anywhere that you want to…”
Our Employment Services and Entrepreneurship Week programs are reigniting Eleanor’s love for business ownership. The Castle, our emergency and transitional housing development in West Harlem, placed her on an upward path of rehabilitation with a safe place to call home. Plus, our Creative Arts program helped her find a voice to express repressed pain.
“…one of the great things about The Fortune Society…[is] we do the poetry slam. To be able to get up there and let that out and listen to other people share their story and their experience, I mean…it’s so amazing to know there’s a community of people out there who understand how I’m feeling, I’m not alone, this isn’t just me, and I am not crazy.”
Eleanor is not alone. Other people coming home from incarceration should know that, too. Since 1967, The Fortune Society has said “welcome home” to thousands, showing them how to overcome their worst mistakes and lead productive lives in the community.
*Written by Root Stitches LLC