Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-11-19 19:15:00 –
Nashville (WSMV)-Jolene Ramirez was interviewing in Nashville when she received news that her youngest child had been arrested in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
COVID struck the United States, and the three mothers planned to take her boy to Music City with her.
It happened again just as Ramirez got a job as Vanderbilt’s Deputy Nurse Chief.
This time, 19-year-old Reggie was sentenced to imprisonment for selling drugs.
It was May 2020.
Ramirez hasn’t hugged his son since then.
“I’ve never met him in person, I’ve only seen him on zoom,” Ramirez said. “It was terrible. I don’t even have words.”
She knows the challenges that Reggie faces after she is released.
“When he came out, he didn’t have a driver’s license. He lost his social security card,” Ramirez added. “I didn’t know the first thing about helping him reconnect with it, or even the first thing about a felony or a job as a student like the other two college students. It made me feel great hope. It will be an opportunity for Reggie in the future. “
Jolene says worries would have overwhelmed her without a perfectly placed neighbor with a story like her.
“I bought a house, and my neighbor Joan is here on the board of directors of Dismas House,” Ramirez explained. “Her son was imprisoned for 25 years. We were connected.”
In a new modern building near Charlotte Avenue near Centennial Park, Dismas provides shelter, clothing and transportation for men who have just been released from prison.
Through treatment, mentorship, and job preparation training, the program can serve more than 175 residents annually and address the root cause of why they were first put in jail.
Each new resident will receive a basic needs package on arrival, including toiletries, household items and 3-day clothing.
Within 72 hours of arrival, he will receive the first session of at least 30 hours of individual and group therapy sessions, as well as an additional 30 hours of recurrence prevention program.
The mission of nonprofits is to set the standard for re-entry programming and ultimately break the imprisonment cycle.
Ramirez jumped at the opportunity to volunteer in Dismas and served meals every few weeks. Guidance one-on-one to the inhabitants. Join the board of directors.
“The timing of how this happened in my life was a great opportunity for me to serve and learn,” Ramirez said. “And there is a connection to how we can help our son, and we have a second chance when he is released.”
“It’s finally peaceful, hopeful, and a little scary,” she added.
The Tennessee Corrections Bureau will determine if Reggie can eventually move to Nashville and have the opportunity to call Dismas home.
She encourages parents in similar situations to know that the darkness they are experiencing has an end.
“Life is hard, but you’ll be on the other side,” Ramirez said.
Click here for more information on Dismas House. https://dismas.org/
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