Nathan, 35, was arrested the first time as a teenager and was in and out of incarceration over the years before being referred to HRI in 2011. HRI helped him regain the confidence and support he needed to set a new direction in life. Today, he holds his Commercial Driver's License, owns a trucking business and is happily settled with his wife and daughter. "A lot of responsibility for success is on the individual," he says. "Sometimes pride makes it hard to ask for help. But Hope Restored showed me that it's better to focus your energy on doing things the right way to achieve your goals. Hope Restored helped me to see that it's 10 times better to do things the right way than try and think you'll ever get ahead of the law."
Terry was in a downward spiral before she found Hope Restored. She had been drinking every day and was living with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. She had been arrested for driving while intoxicated and was on probation when a friend referred her to Hope Restored. HRI founder Jeffrey Thames contacted Terry's probation officer and requested leniency in light of her medical condition. Over time, HRI helped her find a psychiatrist who diagnosed her with bipolar disorder and prescribed medication so that she could manage her illness. "They never gave up on me," she says. "They really care at Hope Restored."
Andre, 50, was arrested for the first time at 16 and had been incarcerated for the longest stretch of five years before encountering Hope Restored. Once he was referred to HRI, the organization helped him get settled into an apartment and assisted him in getting his license to drive a cab. Since then, he has helped HRI with community advocacy. He said HRI supported him by taking time to help him work through a plan for what he needed to gain a solid footing. Andre encourages others who may travel a path similar to his to be proactive in planning for their needs and to work in partnership with Hope Restored.
Stepphen was homeless and living in a shelter in Silver Spring, Maryland when he met Jeffrey Thames of HRI. He remembers Thames sleeping on the street to call attention to the challenges of homelessness. Stepphen believes by considering the big picture of what clients need, HRI was effective in helping him get off the street, into housing and in a better position to look for a job. Since being assisted by HRI, he has paid it forward by working as a volunteer at HRI. "I plugged myself in at Hope Restored so I could help others," he says. "The people at Hope Restored are professional, genuine and caring."
Since our inception in 2011, HRI has served over 100 clients. Our philosophy is that HRI is always there for our clients. Out of the total number of HRI cases, only seven people have returned to incarceration. HRI founder and president Jeffrey Thames says his own nontraditional path to success in life enables him to relate to HRI clients to advocate for those who have been incarcerated or are homeless.
The organization serves clients from throughout the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Clients are referred by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) and the Montgomery County Correctional Facility (MCCF), as well as by the office of Senator Chris Van Hollen, the NAACP, Montgomery County Public Schools, other nonprofits, churches and the community at-large.
After an initial intake interview, HRI considers the conditions of their supervision and what their referring agency seeks to accomplish in their rehabilitation. Typically, HRI helps with three top priorities: job counseling and support, housing and court advocacy. Through a partnership with the nonprofit A Wider Circle (AWC), HRI escorts clients to the AWC facility in Silver Spring, Maryland to help them meet their needs for clothing and essential household items. We also work with Worksource Montgomery to help clients develop a resume that will help them secure employment.
Our work in the community