• 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?”

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  • 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.”   

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  • Angela Davidson, A Success Story

    Angela Davidson was having a hard time finding a job because of the pandemic and her background. Four days after her start with Integrity, she was ready for the workplace and on her way to her new job.

    Angela first heard of Integrity through a flier she picked up at the grocery store. She called the number on the flier and registered for the NET program. When her case manager, Ms. Shenika, discovered Angela didn't know how to use a computer, she picked her up and brought her into the office so she could take the class face-to-face with the instructor (while following COVID-19 safety precautions of course). In addition to the NET program, Angela completed the digital literacy course led by Ms. Chervon so she could learn how to use a computer. Angela said that she is grateful for all the support she received from Integrity. “They sit down and help you through everything, they take time from what they’re supposed to be doing to help you accomplish what you’re trying to reach. They were there for me.” When she finished the NET program and digital literacy course, Integrity’s job developer Mr. Phelps found Angela a housekeeping job, a position that uses her previous experience. While things got harder with the pandemic, Angela is now back on track thanks to Integrity. “I’m trying to change my life,” Angela said. “I got a son and 6 grandkids, and I just want to do better for myself.”

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  • Joyce Boyer, a Community Job Connection Graduate

    Joyce Boyer ran her own cleaning business when the pandemic hit. Joyce’s business, like many others, was negatively impacted by the pandemic, so she had to resort to working part-time jobs like Instacart and DoorDash to make ends meet.   Joyce was having trouble finding full-time work and was falling behind on paying her bills when she got a call from her daughter. Knowing her mother was looking for work, Joyce’s daughter invited her to come a Community Job Connection recruitment event, which was happening at her apartment complex. Joyce went to the mobile unit and received job information, went through orientation, and registered for NET, Integrity’s job readiness and soft skills training course. “It was a good training,” Joyce said. “It was very transparent, Mr. Walter knew what he was doing, and he was very passionate about his work.” After completing NET, Joyce got a job in Fairburn as a health monitor, which is helping her catch up on her bills. NET refers its graduates to a financial planning program, which Joyce has joined to improve her credit. After her success with the Community Job Connection, Joyce is going to recommend it to her friends who are also looking for work. “I’m thankful for the program and the resources that they offer. I would suggest it to anyone out here struggling, trying to find work. It’s the go-to place.”

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  • Edith Page, An Inspirational Story

    Edith Page, a Registered Nurse of 30 years, was sentenced to prison for an offense she did not commit. Despite her long history of public service, glowing character references, not being convicted of a crime, and having no previous offenses, she still spent a year in prison. Now, after getting off probation in 2020, Edith is studying for her Juris Doctorate at Georgia State University, becoming as employable as possible, and getting her record expunged. For job readiness and record expungement, she turned to Integrity for help.    Edith heard about Integrity’s services through Women on the Rise. Women on the Rise is a grassroots organization led by women of color who are impacted or targeted by the legal system.   Through Integrity, Edith has completed the NET program for job readiness and professional development and is enrolled in the Next50 program. Edith is in touch with her case manager and the staff at Integrity on a regular basis, which she finds incredibly helpful. “Half the battle is getting information, knowing where to go and who to talk to and what your needs are. So, you know, if you don't even know what to do next, how can you move forward? They've been very good at helping me with the job readiness and professional development and the emailing back and forth, it's been really great.”  Along with soft skills training and assistance finding a job, Integrity is also helping Edith to obtain an official document that says that once she has her degree in criminal justice, she is employable. Edith also attended an online Expungement workshop, hosted by Integrity and Goodwill of North Georgia.   Edith said that Integrity has helped her jump-start her search for employment, and that Integrity has instilled her with confidence despite being discouraged by the “Felon” label on her record. “Now that I've practiced my elevator speech, completed the professional development class, written out my smart goals, and received such encouragement from Mr. Walter Evans in class, I'm well on my way to financial success again.  Not only will I continue my studies at GSU, but feel confident about getting back out in the workforce of society.”  You can read more about Edith’s journey in her book, “IMPRISONED, BUT NOT BOUND: Locked Up, But Not Locked Down.” 

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