I’m currently a graduate student at the FSU College of Social Work seeking to complete my Master of Social Work degree in August. I’m grateful and elated to be a contributing member of Joseph House during this Summer. I’ve worked with people currently and formerly incarcerated since January 2018 when I stumbled upon an agency that provided me with an opportunity to assist them in their substance use treatment. Incidentally, the agency was a transitional housing program for formerly incarcerated men.
A few years ago after recovering from nearly catastrophic life experiences, it occurred to me that I was given the gift of another chance at life while countless others are deprived of that same gift. Why is the world fair to some and not to others? Why do some inherit love, resources and opportunity while others inherit conditions of perpetual despair and distress? These considerations disturbed me. No one has control of what resources are provided for them, of what neighborhood they grow up in, of what painful wounds have been inflicted upon them as children, and many other factors that circumstance randomly distributes to people before they are offered a choice.
Unfortunately, many of those faced with life’s more dire difficulties such as poverty or violence, often times enter into the criminal justice system or are affected by someone close to them that has. Since sadly incarceration is the response to many of our society’s problems, these individuals are commonly imprisoned and discarded in the name of justice and correction. The results are hundreds of thousands of men and women who are isolated and abandoned, left alone to cope with their own painful histories in severely harsh environments without love or care; the same love and care that we expect in our lives in order to heal and thrive. Here at Joseph House we are honored with the opportunity to be a positive influence on the lives of others and to pass along the blessings that we have ourselves received.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”– Romans 12:2