Lewis J.

Re-Entry Project Alum

Serving a three-year prison sentence gave Lewis J., father of four, plenty of time to think about what went wrong in his life. “My behavior and actions took me away from my children,” he explained. “I had no one to blame but myself.” As a kid, Lewis grew up in an unstable environment, and he feared the same for his own family: “What kind of role model do my kids have when their own father is locked up?”

After serving his sentence, Lewis moved into transitional housing at the Dismas House. “That’s when I met staff from Fathers & Families Support Center. They did a presentation and explained how they help fathers like me,” he said.

FFSC’s reentry program at the Transition Center of St. Louis (TCSTL) addresses family reunification, trauma-related mental health issues, substance abuse issues, employment and housing barriers for low to high-risk adult offenders age 18 and older who are housed at TCSTL.

FFSC’s unique, six-week re-entry project has achieved high completion rates and key outcomes among its participants in the criminal justice system. One of our greatest accomplishments is a 3% recidivism rate from our program participants. The State of Missouri’s average is 44%!

“FFSC facilitators are great inspirations,” he added. “They remind us that when you change the way you think, you’re also shaping your reality.”

FFSC career advisors were able to assist Lewis with earning both his Commercial Driver’s License and Forklift Certification and helped him land his first driving position with LTI Trucking as a truck driver. Since graduating from FFSC’s re-entry project, Lewis has advanced in the transportation industry, earning his private pilot license in 2023 from Southwestern Illinois College.

 “Everything I do, I do for my children. I enjoy seeing them experiencing things that I didn’t when I was growing up,” he explained. “Being able to provide for them and accomplish all that I have has been most rewarding.”