• John Jackson, A Next50 Success Story

    John Jackson was ready for a change when he received a call from Integrity offering help with job placement. Before the pandemic, Mr. Jackson was having a hard time finding a job because of his background, so he gave up on the job search and started mowing lawns in order to pay the bills. Once the pandemic hit, everything changed. “It was upside down. The pandemic hit, and all my jobs closed down. I had to move out of my home.” He moved in with his eldest daughter and helped around the house. Mr. Jackson said getting the call from Integrity was perfect timing because he was getting tired of cutting people’s grass, although he kept doing it to pay the bills. Through the Next50 program, Mr. Jackson got a job as a forklift operator for $16.00/hour. After his positive experience with Integrity and the Next50 program, Mr. Jackson has recommended going through the program to a couple of his friends. He found the staff motivational and felt like family, and was thrilled when he got a job. “It’s a great feeling at the end when you get the job, because you will get a job, if you really want it. You have to have the ‘Want to’ attitude.”

    post a comment
  • Next50 Success Story: Clemon Forts

    Clemon Forts was stuck in a dead-end job where he had no benefits, no potential for growth, and was miserable. Through the Next50 program, with the help of Integrity, Clemon now has a new job with that he is much happier with.   Clemon received a call from Integrity’s Re-Entry Coordinator, Edith, and learned about all the jobs that were hiring. He came into Integrity’s office, did a phone interview, and was hired as a forklift operator.   In this new job that is in a better work environment, is more organized, and has benefits, Clemon said that it will help him out tremendously and it will change his life.  

    post a comment
  • Next50 Success Story: Lakeia Murray

    Lakeia Murray, like many people, lost her job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of Integrity through the Next50 program, Lakeia could get a job and regain stability in her life.

    A friend referred Lakeia to Integrity’s Community Job Connection. After speaking with Mr. Walter, Integrity’s NET Instructor, Lakeia enrolled in the Next50 program the next day. Next50 provides formerly incarcerated individuals over 50 with hard skills training, soft skills training, job placement support, and more. “It helped me a great deal. And they constantly keep in contact with me to see how I’m doing as well, and I like that,” Lakeia said. “If you’re looking for employment, give Integrity a try.” After participating in the Next50 program and getting soft skills training through NET, Lakeia has obtained gainful employment in warehouse logistics. It has helped Lakeia get back on track. “It put a lot of stability in my life because I didn’t have that. I got my responsibilities back and I got my income back, which gave me stability.” For more information about the Next50 program, call 404-853-780 ext. 104 or click here.

    post a comment
  • Anthony Brown, A Re-Entry Story

    After being released from prison, Anthony Brown is working on repaying his debt to society. Through the BRIDGE program, Integrity is helping Anthony with his journey.

    In an attempt to be a “street hustler,” Anthony said he made a series of bad decisions, including robbing a bank, which landed him a 17 year prison sentence. When he first started his sentence, Anthony met a fellow inmate who wouldn’t allow him to play the victim. “He was grooming me not to be some wayward, lost soul, because [prison] can suck your soul. What he was doing was making me take ownership of my life, so that started the trajectory.” Anthony said that there are four types of prisoners: the Model Prisoner, the Inmate, the Dreamer/Schemer, and the Redeemed. Anthony said he was fortunate enough to complete the CHALLENGE program, a therapeutic program that provided him with concept and tools to embrace positive growth, making him one of the Redeemed. "If you really buy into it, change is possible." Before his release, Anthony asked for re-entry resources and received a list of organizations. Integrity was the only organization listed that was still active. Anthony said the organization supported him, and that support gives him more incentive and motivation to live up to the ideals he has set for himself. "For Reverend Beckham and for the staff of Integrity to even welcome me with open arms, it means that there is evidence of my redemption. People can see it, people are willing to give me a try." Anthony completed the NET course and is now working on the Beautification Team as a Team Lead, and recently enrolled at Atlanta Technical College to gain some formal education. Part of Anthony's journey includes being an advocate for prison reform and an easier re-entry process for formerly incarcerated individuals, and he is working with Integrity’s Re-Entry team to do that. “I don’t want to be a martyr. I want to come out here and enjoy life, I want to spend more time with my daughters, I want to go on vacation, but I feel like the onus is on me to be a voice of what’s going on in these American prison systems. Who else better to speak about that than someone who actually lived it?”

    post a comment
  • Kim, an Integrity Success Story

    Before 2013, Kim was addicted to drugs, chronically homeless, and was on probation. “I thought I had no way out,” Kim said. She felt that she was not doing anything constructive with her life, and after going to jail again, she decided to get help in rehab in 2013. After graduating from the rehabilitation program, Kim was required to look for work, but she didn’t have any experience. That’s when she turned to Integrity.    In 2015, Kim heard about Integrity through word-of-mouth, as she lived in a nearby neighborhood. She met Rosemerry, who was the first person to help her. “Everybody there was trying to help people,” Kim said. At Integrity, Kim got help working on her resume, learning soft skills, and building back the confidence she needed to get into the workforce. “I kept it real with [Rosemerry] and told her where I was coming from in my life and, you know, where I was trying to get to, and she was like ‘Don’t worry about that, you can do this.’ That’s what I love about the people, they don’t let [your circumstances] deter them from trying to help you.”    Once she completed soft skills training and had a resume, Kim was referred to the construction worker training program at Goodwill, where she graduated with a CDL certification. Today, Kim works as a bus operator for MARTA and is house hunting with her husband.    When asked what she would tell people who are unsure or on the fence about working with an organization like Integrity, she said “Get off of the fence, and get yourself moving to get your life moving in the right direction! I would strongly recommend that you go with Integrity because these people are actually going to take the time to help you figure out what’s right for you.”   

    post a comment