American author, Leo Buscagalia, wrote, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” This could not be truer for former Second Chance client, Loveless Jones.
Loveless was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. He spent his time making bad decisions, hanging around people who negatively influenced him, and doing things that he would seriously regret. Loveless spent his teenage years in and out of state custody until he was eventually sentenced to 25 years in prison at the young age of just 21; he has spent more than half of his life incarcerated.
While in prison, Loveless knew that he could not go back to his old life. He earned his GED, completed first aid training, participated in anger management courses, and earned his food handling certification. However, he also knew that all of the effort he put into bettering his life in prison would only be worth it if he continued to work hard for personal growth and success.
After serving over 22 years in prison, Loveless was released in Kansas City and started his path to a better life at Heartland Center for Behavioral Change. While staying there, his case manager recommended he go to Second Chance for help finding a job but found that Second Chance helped him with so much more than just finding a job. Second Chance gave Loveless the attention, encouragement, and care he needed to focus his gaze on a better path than the one he was going down before.
Loveless reflected that his Resource Specialist didn’t just help him find a job, she helped him find a career that he truly loves. Beyond that, Second Chance helped him develop his social skills and learn how to communicate with others in a productive way, especially when faced with conflict. Loveless said fostering these healthy communication skills has been the most important outcome of participating in the Second Chance Program.
Since being released, Loveless has not only started building a career, but he has also started building a family. On the day we spoke to him, he was excitedly celebrating his son’s first day of school. Loveless shared that he is proud of his ability to make the right decisions which has kept him out of prison, but he is even more proud of the family he is building.
To anyone finding themselves in a similar position, Loveless’s best piece of advice is to keep focused, don’t give up, and stay away from the negative influences that led you down the wrong path to begin with. Loveless shared that his journey was not always easy; moving to a new city after over 20 years of incarceration was a huge adjustment, but he is very proud of how far he has come – and so are we! Loveless’s story is proof that sometimes encouragement and support is all someone needs to turn their life around.