Most of Guy’s life has consisted of long stints in state prison, punctuated by short moments of freedom. “I was never out of prison for more than a year. I thought that was where I belonged.”
Guy was released in early 2016 after another seven years behind bars. “I was tired. I was coming home to no options.”
He asked a friend to drive him to the only place he could go—a shelter. As they drove along, Guy spotted The Doe Fund’s Harlem Center for Opportunity. He had heard about it while he was in prison, so he asked his friend to turn in. “They explained how Ready, Willing & Able works. How you can learn new skills and get your certifications. I decided to see what this program could offer me.”
What it offered him was a second chance at life.
When Guy reflects on his time cleaning streets and sidewalks as a Ready, Willing & Able trainee, he remembers the purpose and drive it gave him. “Pushing that bucket isn’t just about cleaning. It teaches you patience and endurance. It teaches you to do the right thing.”
By the time Guy retires his blue uniform, he will be completely independent–with his own apartment and a steady job. As for his long-term goals, he plans to strengthen his spirituality and, most importantly, his relationship with his son. And he continues to practice the lessons offered by the bucket. “It’s a growth process, and it’s about the long run. I’m better today than I was yesterday.”