Education and entrepreneurship are two things that truly get our staff excited!
Derrick learned about The Way Back through our partnership with the Dallas County 4C (SAFPF) Specialty Court, a specialty court for individuals returning to Dallas County after completing a 15-month Texas Department of Criminal Justices in-prison substance abuse program called SAFPF.
Several times a month, our staff visits the 4C SAFPF Specialty Court to ensure that all of the newly released probationers are familiar with the reentry support and services that The Way Back has to offer. During one of our outreach presentations, Derrick expressed interest in The Way Back’s Reentry Program. After being in and out of the justice system, Derrick’s decision to engage The Way Back showed that he was serious about successful reentry and his sobriety this time. A decision that would change his future.
At his first appointment with The Way Back, Derrick’s case manager initiated several assessment tools that guided the development of a reentry service plan that was tailored to his needs, goals, life experience and current situation. His case manager immediately provided Derrick with the items he needed to meet his urgent needs – clothing, food and hygiene. While these items may seem basic to many, they are what provides immediate crisis relief to those we serve. Staff also made sure that Derrick enrolled in healthcare coverage so that he could take care of himself physically and have any medical needs met.
One of Derrick’s main goals was to complete Barber College so that he could continue his family’s long legacy of barbershop ownership going back to the 1940’s. The Way Back was thrilled to support Derrick in this journey of becoming a licensed barber and his dream of re-opening the family barbershop.
As Derrick continued in barber school, his case manager checked-in with him regularly to offer encouragement, completed updated assessments to ensure Derrick was on track to meet his goals and had no new barriers that needed new services or interventions, and saw him regularly at his court mandated group counselling sessions.
We are so proud of Derrick and are pleased to announce that Derrick graduated from barber college and is now a licenses barber and will be re-opening his family’s barbershop. Because of Derrick’s entrepreneurial spirit and his commitment to a new life, Derrick has a bright future and a career that will allow him to support his eight-year-old daughter and has set a beautiful example of resiliency, showing her that she can truly achieve anything she sets her mind to.
Derrick’s story is just one of many that we are privileged to be a part of. Thank you for joining us in this important work as we show others just like Derrick that incarceration doesn’t define a life, but a second chance can.