RMO Success Story: Seeing the Light

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Tuesday - June 26, 2012.

Ricky* sees light at the end of the tunnel, and for the first time in nearly a decade, he's able to say, "I feel blessed, like this is right where God wants me to be." Ricky's "tunnel" has been a long, dark journey through bi-polar disorder, PTSD, and obesity, to cocaine addiction, homelessness, and prison. He's quick to add that his life wasn't always this way.

"My father was a minister and my mother was an English teacher. Everyone else in my family has been very successful. They all have college degrees. I went to a private Christian school, and I grew up in the church."

But Ricky also grew up with learning disabilities and some then-undiagnosed mental health issues. Compounding that, he says, "I was a really obese child. All of that put together was tough." Then, when Ricky was fifteen, his father died. "That threw me for a big loop," he says quietly. Ricky got into drugs. "Cocaine became my miracle weight-loss drug. My mental disorders and the drugs were a terrible combination." . . .

RMO Success Story: Forging a New Path

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Monday - June 04, 2012.

Elaina* curls up at one end of the sofa in her living room, as she invites me to have a seat at the other end. The petite 30 year-old has short cropped hair, an engaging smile and a radiant glow about her. She launches right into the story of her path from prison to where she is now.

"The few people I've told about being in prison – they're like, 'WHAT?' I guess they have some picture in their head of prison inmates," she says, shrugging. "So maybe I don't fit their picture."

Her latest stint at the Lancaster County Prison was her third incarceration. "This time around, it was a mental change for me," Elaina explains. "I finally realized I didn't want that kind of life again." . . .

RMO Success Story: Taking the Lead

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Tuesday - May 22, 2012.

When Harold* was due to be released from the Lancaster County Prison, he had nowhere to go, and was afraid he'd end up homeless. But staff in the Pre-Parole Unit at the prison, told Harold about the Lancaster County Re-entry Management Organization (RMO), which could help Harold to find transitional housing, and other support he might need to successfully re-enter the community. They gave Harold information about the RMO partner organizations and Harold contacted RMO partner, Transition to Community (TTC) . . .

RMO Success Story: The Heart of a Man

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on Friday - May 18, 2012.

After two heart attacks in three months, Lancaster resident, Edward*, was diagnosed with "a bad heart." His doctor told him he needed to stop working, as the strain on his heart could kill him. It was a shock and a devastating blow to the broad-shouldered, muscular 42 year-old former athlete, who has worked steadily since his teen years.

"It's pretty ironic," observed Doug Hopwood, Director of the Transitional Living Center, "because Edward is one of the most genuinely GOOD-hearted people I know, in the non-medical sense of the word. He's incredibly positive and he's doing the right things . . ."