What is a home? According to the dictionary, a home is defined as “a place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” For many people, the meaning of the word is more complex than the basic definition. A home is a place that goes beyond the physical structure, where families can create lasting memories, share cooked meals, and reconnect after time apart. With lots of hard work and dedication to himself and his family, former Second Chance participant Carlos Reed can finally call his new house a home.
Prior to incarceration, Carlos was working a full-time job while also acting as the primary caretaker for his family. He prided himself on being able to take care of his growing family. Unfortunately, a few poor decisions landed Carlos in the justice system. While incarcerated, Carlos used his time wisely to focus on his long-term goal, which was to be able to provide for his family again. He completed multiple classes and worked long hours at the residential laundry facility. According to Carlos, this positive and productive routine and the focus on his children was a guiding light for his release.
Carlos isn’t afraid to admit that reentry hasn’t been easy, but maintaining a routine and reconnecting with his family members has been helpful along the way. To assist with some other barriers that Carlos was facing, he received a referral from his Parole Officer to join the Second Chance program. Through Second Chance, Carlos was able to receive assistance with finding housing that suited his personal needs. Although he was able to successfully find a home, Carlos stated that the most important component of Second Chance was the constant support and listening ear he received along the way. Besides Second Chance, Carlos is extremely thankful for his immediate and extended family, as well as his Parole Officer, who have been extremely supportive of his successes.
As of today, Carlos is still thriving in the Kansas City area. He has been employed at his current job since a week after his release in September 2019. Carlos has also successfully graduated the Second Chance program as of June 2020 and will complete parole in 2021. When asked what he is most proud of, Carlos stated that he is most proud of having his children in his life and being able to watch them grow.
Second Chance is very proud of all that Carlos has achieved in such a short time. It is obvious that no matter where Carlos is in his life, he will always be focused on providing for those around him. We are excited to see what his future holds and wish him nothing but the best.