We understand that reentering citizens face a complex matrix of needs, especially regarding housing. That’s why Hudson Link is leading the way in transitional housing for formerly incarcerated people by engaging our alumni in the renovations of dilapidated homes near our central office. While housing is our keystone, today we’re happy to highlight how we’ve started to address other needs our alumni have.
One of our foundations for New Beginnings is to empower our students and alumni and ingrain agency in those who participate in the program. For our folks coming home, embracing their freedom fully is everything. That’s why with a handful of generous donations and Bobby, a local mechanic-turned-mentor, we’ve started providing cars to our alumni and residents.
Many can recall the feeling of promise getting behind the wheel of a car provides; a sense of opportunity and simple mobility, the power to make decisions about when and where you want to go. Kenyatta, an up-and-coming musician, Hudson Link alumni, and New Beginnings car donation recipient, puts it eloquently,
“Ultimately, the only way that prison can limit you is physically—by which I mean your physical movement. A car is the inverse of that. The ability to move, to go from point A to point B with few impediments, offers access to more and greater opportunities. It changes everything.”
Kenyatta is now a musician-in-residence at Columbia University, using his car to transport instruments that would be impossible to carry alone on the subway.”From job interviews and social opportunities, a car gets folk on the road to success.
Alumni not only get a free car, but they also have the opportunity to work alongside real-world professionals.
Bobby, one of our local partners, shares that “having the opportunity to work with and around formerly incarcerated people is so rewarding. I feel like I’m doing so much more than just repairing a vehicle, I’m playing a key role in someone’s second chance at life.”
As we move forward with building lasting relationships that broaden the network of support for our alumni, we look forward to expanding this new avenue of access and continuing to collaborate with our community on innovations for progress.
We’re endlessly grateful for your ongoing support!