I am writing you this letter to take the time to say thank you and express my gratitude for allowing me the opportunity to finish up my sentence at Tarpon Springs CRC. Through my time in DOC I have had a lot of idle time to sit and contemplate the choices and actions that led me to my incarceration. When I entered DOC I was a broken down, dry addicted, lost soul looking for anyone and anything to blame, all the while denying that the problem looked me right the face each morning. The problem has always been me, not the drugs, or the poor choices. These were simply just the by-products of me. I set out to prove that DOC is stupid, pointless, not for me and plainly a waste of time.
In doing so, I found myself becoming bitter, saying that the world owes me, I don’t belong there and found myself falling backward instead of growing. Then I was informed of the work release program and I thought to myself maybe there truly can be some sort of reform in DOC, but it’s all in how you perceive things. I began surrounding myself around people who truly wanted their freedom and wanted to make something out of their lives. It was amazing how quickly my perspective of DOC changed. If I couldn’t follow simple rules and procedures behind the bars, how could I ever find success once again in the real world? Sure a lot of the rules are ridiculous and childish, but that’s the point! Most of us inmates acted childish and immature to get where we are. We needed that strict set of rules to remind us where we are and where we want to be.
I can’t express how much gratitude I have for you and your staff here for the opportunity and privilege I was given to be here. I was able to obtain a job in which I was promoted twice and in my stay here I will be keeping up on my EOS. I was reunited with a childhood friend whom I consider a role model now seeing how he came through these same doors and where he is now. I may not have always agreed with the things you said or did, but I have an enormous amount of respect for you and commend you on your hard work here. It’s not supposed to be a vacation, it’s a very lucky and blessed opportunity and a wonderful chance to get my life back in order. In my opinion, this is what DOC should be. This program helps us re-enter into society and teaches us to be productive members of society again. I am extremely grateful for the way my life has changed directly related to this program. Life is what we make it and there are those who choose to just skate by, then there are the ones like myself who realize the opportunity I was given and ran with it. When I arrived here I had goals in mind, and through this program, I was able to achieve them and so much more.
In closing, I just wanted to let you know for what it’s worth how honored I am to have been granted this opportunity, for your hospitality and your ability to push us to almost breaking points to motivate us to make something of our time here. It’s been a pleasure talking sports with you and overall advice for life when I was EOS. I have much respect for you and your staff. Thank you so very much for all your help both directly and indirectly on my journey to patching up the road to my future.
My story begins in a small town in Florida by the name of Lake City. It is here where my drug addiction began. I was honorably discharged from the Army in 1993 and decided to go back to Lake City and start my life over.
Being homeless is not just those who are on drugs, uneducated, living in a corner or on the streets. We are veterans who are living with friends, families or in cars. We are going to school and struggling to make ends meet.