Here’s a short interview I did with Cowboy. Cowboy has lived an incredible life but has ended up in Muskegon and is giving back to his community.
“I am neighbour” is a project I have been involved in through my work for Community enCompass, here in Muskegon. I am neighbour Creates space for neighbours to talk about their lives, their loves and their community, scratching away at the surface of bad publicity and public opinion, to really get to the heart of what makes Muskegon tick.
70x7 is a faith based prisoner re-entry program in West Michigan. They Take inmates who have served long terms and help them re-adjust back to society. Right at the point of release, they pick inmates up from the facility, take them for breakfast, help them buy essentials and get settled in to their new life.
Its hard to imagine but freedom can be a difficult thing to deal with after so much time behind walls.
A lot can change in 15 years. Since T has come out he has had to do a lot of re-adjusting to a world he no longer recognises. He has had to re-learn job skills, how to deal with people, even how to ride a bike (you never forget). But after some time he has been able to find work as a security guard.
Ex-convicts get a hard time, no one wants to give them a job, no one wants to trust them. Its not surprising that many break parole and go back to prison where they are understood and accepted. But 70x7 are trying to break that cycle, providing support, care and understanding, providing community where its needed most.