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Instilling Change: Anthony Kamm

Much of Anthony Kamm’s life has been a struggle. Anthony grew up through the system in California. Somewhat state raised, Anthony bounced around between foster care and adoption just trying to stay afloat and alive. Like many youth growing up in the system, Anthony found himself in a life of addiction and criminal activity, entering incarceration at the age of 21 and has spent most of his adult life in prison throughout multiple states. It wasn’t until he was returning to the Missouri Department of Corrections the second time that Anthony began to seriously consider taking steps to get his life on a better track.

At sentencing, the Judge was recommending 120-day substance abuse treatment or a year-long incarcerated treatment program at Ozark Correctional Center (OCC). He decided the long-term treatment was the best course of action for him if he truly wanted to get better. He knew that 120 days of “shock incarceration” would not have been enough time to overcome his addiction. Anthony described the treatment program like going to college. It included substance abuse, anger management, and other comprehensive classes. This allowed him to develop the tools necessary to help himself. He chose prison over freedom to realize the change he wanted to see in his own life. After his release to Kansas City, Anthony was then referred to Second Chance by Heartland Center for Behavioral Change (HCBC).

Anthony described the hardest parts of reentry as “the hoops you are forced to jump through”. Dealing with probation and parole officers, financial barriers, supervision conditions, court dates, etc. They are all examples of what troubling obstacles can be when reentering society. Anthony learned to deal with these obstacles by always taking the high road and avoiding unnecessary conflict. He doesn’t believe he’d have the same career opportunities without the help he received from Second Chance and learning how to communicate his thoughts and feelings in a healthy manner. He says Second Chance helped motivate him to go to forklift training. He appreciated the housing assistance and additional support while on medical leave.

One of the things Anthony appreciated the most about the program and his Resource Specialist is how it forced him to be accountable to himself. He’s also learned how to take life slowly, one step at a time, and to practice patience. He believes those coming to Second Chance should take every opportunity afforded to them by the program.

Anthony currently works at Custom Truck One Source as a Material Handler and truly enjoys his work. He’s proud that he’s free, sober and of the positive support system he now has around him. Anthony says he feels like things are finally falling in line in life as it was always meant to be.

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