Carl ended up in prison and upon his release entered The Foundry’s Re-Entry Program. He has turned his life around, including attending college and sharing his story with students.
Carl fled from Alabama to Arkansas in 2006, trying to escape his past. “My problem was methamphetamine. I was in a desperate place. I lost my house. My wife left me. I was separated from my children. I had tried so hard to quit.”
So he ran, but he couldn’t run far enough. At age 53 he was arrested and sentenced to 17 years in prison. When the doors slammed shut behind him, reality set in. “Prison is a horrible, depraved place,” Carl says. “only those who find spirituality make it here.” Carl did.
During his incarceration he worked in the prison chapel. “Prison became kind of a seminary school. I read the Bible for house every day,” he explains. His blossoming relationship with the Lord helped him steer clear of prison violence, hold fast to his faith and focus on his future.
In 2011 he was granted parole and scheduled to be released. But he had no job and no family or friends to take him in. In prison he’d heard about The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center and how the re-entry program takes ex-inmates like him and points them in the right direction. “(The Foundry) opened their door to me so I had somewhere to go. They provided a secure place to find my way in life.” Carl says.
As part of the re-entry program, residents are trained in skills they need to return to the workforce. Carl learned to be responsible and accountable through work therapy in the SuperThrift Outlet. In the Education Center, he learned how to type—and that others respected and cared about him.
Carl was also surprised to hear he’s a good student. He enrolled in college and has earned straight As. He was invited to a university ambassador’s program, where tuition is paid in return for community service. He uses the opportunity to share with high school students the horrors of incarceration….and the blessings of second chances. He also has a part-time job and is looking forward to finding full-time work and housing when he finishes school.
But Carl takes no credit for his life’s new direction. He gives glory to the Lord. “It’s not me, it’s God working in my. He has taken me and done good work.” And he’s grateful to The Foundry for providing a place where lives are reshaped by the hand of God. “I wouldn’t have made it if it hadn’t been for this ministry.”
Carl received help at The Foundry. To learn more about this program, please visit their page on our resource directory.