Second Chances

At VOADV, we help turn second chances into transformed lives and have been doing so for 128 years. From the very beginning, our co-founder Maud Booth was opening “Hope Halls” as an extension of her commitment to reforming and improving the conditions of the nation’s prison system. Today, VOADV’s Hope Hall is an American Correctional Association accredited 175-bed halfway house for adult males that provides services including case management, discharge planning, job coaching, substance use treatment and more.

Clients at Hope Hall are given a second chance, as well as support and guidance throughout their journey to fulfilling whatever their next goals are. One client, J, is making the most of his chance and credits the Hope Hall team with helping him get there.

Can you tell me about your experience at Hope Hall so far?

Well, I spent 26 years in prison and have been here 15 months now. The transition being here has helped me after being in prison for so long – I can’t even explain how much it helped me. As opposed to going straight home after doing so much time but instead being able to socialize with people and have that case management. It helped a lot. The guidance here is really, really good.

What type of guidance have you received?

A lot about employment. I’ve been working at the same job for a year now. Actually, Mr. Jackson (Treatment Director at Hope Hall) set up the whole situation with South Jersey Bakery.  I think it’s seven of us that work there now. I’ve been there the longest, a year. If I was going to be living in this area I would continue working there but I have other plans, I got my associates in business management when I was in prison.

Can you tell me about your plans?

I want to start a truck driving company. One of my brothers and my son both drive trucks now. I’ve saved enough money while being here and working at this job to get a truck and start a company. I never would have been able to do that any place else.

How has Hope Hall helped to give you a second chance?

Help with figuring out my whole business plan and strategy came from Mr. Jackson. I’m older than him, but he’s been like a big brother. He’ll pull any and everybody aside to talk to them and guide him with whatever they need. My plans wouldn’t be the same without him.

Being here made me understand that there’s people you can talk to and that would help you in your vision. I would have never thought that it would be like that here. It’s really nice to have people to go to and things like that. Also being able to be closer to my family and see them more in a different environment. I knew I wanted to go to a halfway house – but I definitely didn’t expect to get everything I got out of being at Hope Hall.  

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