When Lewis Mitchell arrived at FFSC more than 12 years ago, he knew two things – that he loved his kids but didn’t know how to parent or provide for them, and that he didn’t want be like his father, a military man who harshly punished all 13 children in the family on a regular basis.
Although Mitchell’s father lived in the home, his presence did more harm than good. “All that hitting didn’t make a difference. It made us resent him even more,” Mitchell confessed. “I didn’t want to be like my dad, but I didn’t know anything else before coming to FFSC.”
Mitchell was placed in Training To Work (T2W4), part of FFSC’s Employment program for fathers who were incarcerated and need help re-acclimating back into the community and finding full-time employment. Also included are classes on parenting, economic stability and building healthy co-parenting relationships.
“I was just released from prison, and I knew I needed some kind of plan to see my kids again,” Mitchell said. To his surprise, after graduating from the six-week program, FFSC hired Mitchell full-time as a maintenance worker for the building. “I was so happy! Not only did I get a job, but I learned how to parent my kids the right way. I don’t hit them, and I never will.”
Today, Mitchell is married with 3 kids, ages 14, 12 and 10 and has been gainfully employed ever since. His advice for others: “Take everything FFSC offers you. All you have to do is ask. It’s okay to get help when you need it, especially when your kids are relying on you.”