I was deported from the US for offences I committed in America. Because I had moved when I was 4 years old I didn’t know about anything or anyone. When I had been in prison in America I heard about Caring for Ex-Offenders and they had been writing to me, so when I arrived home I did everything I could to find my way to connect with a Caring For Ex-Offenders Church.
When my post from America was forwarded to me it included the phone number for the Caring for Ex-Offenders team and so I called them and straight away went to meet them. They hooked me up with this lady who used to call me every day asking if I was ok. She’d take me out to lunch. I didn’t have no money but the Caring for Ex-Offenders team at the church was there for me.
When I first arrived home I was staying in a hostel, but the team gave me letters to take to the housing benefit people, and I was put in a one bedroom flat. They also gave me a mentor, we met each week and he helped me practically with budgeting and appointments.
I started volunteering in the William Wilberforce projects - it was great cause it kept me busy and able to give back to the Church. I wanted to work and got a job doing construction, but because I didn’t understand the system properly I ended up in debt with my rent and tax. The Church helped me get back in control of my finances. Without all of this support I don’t know where I would be now.
When I came out of prison someone met me. From being met at the gate and being driven to a house where I had a roof, food and clothes provided for me. I didn't have to steal for food. That’s a huge deal! All those things were done for me: helping with somewhere to live and also to find somewhere to work, but more so than that - helping me to find the direction.Read more