Offer Hope, Restore Dignity, & Transform Lives

At Brandon Hall, Scott found the reentry program he needed

Last year when I was finishing my sentence at the prison in Terre Haute, I attended an event to find out more about reentry programs in Indianapolis. I attended three or four presentations, and was feeling pretty worried about leaving prison. But then I met Ms. Williams, Ms. Jackson, and Ms. Thompkins from Brandon Hall and I felt much more confident and comfortable about the transition. They were all really encouraging and I thought, ok, I definitely want to go to this halfway house.

When I first got to Brandon Hall on February 9, 2016 I was really scared and depressed because I was a stranger in a new city. I also had a lot of trauma to deal with from the first prison I was in, before I went to Terre Haute.

Thankfully, I could combat those difficult mental barriers because the staff understood what I needed to succeed. They immediately put me into counseling and consistently encouraged me to do better. They were aware enough and smart enough to tell me that I had to move on.

Thankfully, I could combat those difficult mental barriers because the staff understood what I needed to succeed. They immediately put me into counseling and consistently encouraged me to do better. They were aware enough and smart enough to tell me that I had to move on.

They also did little things for me that showed me they cared. For example, Ms. Williams took it upon herself to put me in a bunk that was right in front of the officer's desk, just because I told her that I don't feel comfortable in an open dorm. Ms. Jackson would let me go to the library every day to do job searches. I just found out I'm diabetic, and every time I see Ms. Maxey she gives me new recipes and asks how I am. Ms. Sylvia's the same way. She calls me in the morning and always asks me how my blood sugar is doing.

I can honestly tell you, I know that if something happened, I would call here. I would talk to these people. There's a trust there I've never had before with like law enforcement and community corrections. I've never had that before.

I can honestly tell you, I know that if something happened, I would call here. I would talk to these people. There's a trust there I've never had before with like law enforcement and community corrections. I've never had that before.

Now I'm on home confinement. When I would get passes to go to my new place, I would just stay at home and be alone. My last time out of prison, I literally lived in my closet for the first two months because it was the only place I felt safe. And I saw myself going back into that this time. But Ms. Williams encouraged me to get out, and just doing that really really helped. She's awesome. Now I can go to the grocery store by myself and get out and I don't just sit at home anymore. I'm more willing to open up and talk and my PTSD is a lot better than it was.

I currently work in the HR department for a railroad contracting company. I do tasks like employee routing because we hire a lot of people from out of state. It's a good job, I'm learning a lot, so that's all that matters. I just handled my first EEOC complaint for the company and I did it all on my own so that was cool.

The key to my success was that VOAIN became my family. They became what I had here in Indy. I don't think I could have found a job and moved on with my life without Ms. Jackson, Ms. Maddie, Ms. Williams, and Ms. Maxey.

The key to my success was that Volunteers of America of Indiana became my family. They became what I had here in Indy. I don't think I could have found a job and moved on with my life without Ms. Jackson, Ms. Maddie, Ms. Williams, and Ms. Maxey.

In a year, I hope to see myself in an HR position. My goal is (and I've promised Ms. Jackson this) to work as a recruiter for a private company in Indianapolis so I can give opportunities to the guys at Brandon Hall. I really want to give back what they gave me. They gave me a chance, and I would love to come back and give someone else a chance.