Grantee Rebuilds Lives and Reshapes Futures
As the day of her release from prison drew near, Heather should have been excited and relieved. Instead, the Indiana native was fearful as she faced life ‘outside’ without a job, family, or a place to live. A friend convinced the 27-year-old to apply to the transitional program through St. Leonard’s Ministries, a health and social service agency founded in 1954 to help ex-offenders reintegrate into the community. But Heather had her doubts.
“My friend called it a halfway house, a homeless shelter,” she says. “I mean, you know what the average person thinks about a shelter – bugs, boarded up windows, people coming and going – but I had no other choice.”
St. Leonard’s exceeded her expectations, beginning with a warm welcome when she arrived. “I felt like ‘this is where I’m supposed to be,’” Heather says. “It felt like home.” And soon it would transform her life completely.