Dear Tom Griffin,
Thank you from a former client who would never dream of the life that I have. I entered your facility on August 2nd 2012, coming from the Santa Rosa, State of Florida Correctional facility where I was finishing my 12-year sentence in the Florida Department of Corrections. I was one of the first inmates to be in a new program started by the Florida Department of Corrections where only Veterans served their time. I was informed of your program and I applied for admission. The moment I received your letter of acceptance my outlook on life changed a little. You see as I was nearing the end of my sentence I had nowhere to go upon being released. Your letter gave me some hope that maybe just maybe I would be okay as I faced 3 years of Probation upon my release.
I am grateful to you and your staff for the direction I received as I worked the program that was explained during the intake process. I followed the directions and suggestions by those who were in the program before me and were successful helping me to understand the process as implemented and ensuring a successful reentry into society along with a fulfilling life. I came to your Program as a person with no hope, no future and no direction. The counselors and caseworkers gave me encouragement and told me how I could be an asset for society. They gave me suggestions on how to improve my life and direction when it became necessary, but more importantly, they told me to trust the process. There were times when I wanted to give up, to just quit and when I faced those moments, the case workers, counselors, and staff used encouragement and love to keep me on track.
Today I am a licensed HVAC Technician, but that was not enough education for me. I discovered that I like education and I was able to pursue an Associate’s Degree from Valencia College. Today I am a Junior at The University of Central Florida in the School of Social Work. This is a direct result of the help, direction, and suggestions I received from your Program. I work on recovery every single day because your Staff showed me the way and the result was up to me. I sat in your office once and you told me that this was the best time in my life and that I should enjoy it. I do and the best part is that I am present and appreciative of my life. Thank You, Tom and The Transition House for saving me when I believed there was no hope and no 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.