Barry’s story is all too common; the outcome however, isn’t. This is what we strive for everyday for our clients. Barry was caught in the classic endless loop that so many of our mentally ill experience… prison, to the streets and back to prison again… over, and over, and over. One of our huge initiatives is to intervene in this cycle with the goal of breaking the loop. For achieving this, we RING THE GOOD OUTCOMES BELL for Barry, a wonderful success story.
Barry came to us from a dark past of drug crimes and violence. He spent years in prison over several incarcerations. He found us and over time, he started attending our socialization groups. At first, he was timid and very quite, but over time, he came out of his shell, opening up to us and to the rest of the group. He found that the groups gave him something to look forward to, something to hold on to, foundation and a positive structure to his life that was so lacking.
At CHOICE, he found a safe haven where he felt free to be himself and to begin working on the issues he needed to face to improve his life. He has left the drugs and the violence far behind. He attributes much of his progress to our art and music groups, stating that, “The art groups were a key to opening up about my past life. I found that I had an artistic side that I was able to unleash, something I was never able to do before. The group even took me back to my childhood, reminding me of when I would draw as a kid with my mom. That meant a lot.”
Barry also spends time in our music group and enjoys sharing different musical genres with the other members. He often says that, “Music has no race. It’s just a universal language.”
Barry’s progress has been so pronounced that he was selected to speak at a seminar with law enforcement professionals about his experiences and interactions while in prison. He’s expressed a great desire to work with youth and give back to his community, and after the seminar, he was invited to do just that. We are so grateful for the positive steps Barry has taken and we are proud to stand behind him and continue cheering him on.