Penelope King - Newark, New Jersey
When Penelope was released from five years in prison she was expecting to go to a halfway house and start working again. Instead she was sent to Integrity house. At first she was annoyed, but immediately after she was full of gratitude. She felt more loved at Integrity house than she had felt in a long time. She's still friends with the people she met at Integrity house.
Before Integrity house she had lost her relationships with her children for almost ten years. Through Integrity house she has slowly regained those relationships with help from her peers and the staff. After Integrity house she went to a halfway house and went to school for social work. After school she found it difficult to get an internship or job due to her record. She wanted to work with veterans but couldn't work at a hospital.
She asked to work with Integrity house, who offered her an internship for a year and a half and ultimately offered her a full time position. She notes the difficulty of getting a job with a record, though she is encouraged by some employers becoming more accepting.
She shares that her children came back into her life full time in January and that she'll be receiving her masters in social work in May.