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|March 25, 2008|
|Doe Fund's 'Ready, Willing and Able' Program Holds Graduation|
Program Has Strong Presence in Brooklyn
|NEW YORK -- A group of 200 individuals who have broken the cycles of homelessness, chemical addiction and incarceration were honored today at a graduation ceremony for The Doe Fund's award-winning Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) program, a holistic transitional work and job skills training program that helps homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals become self-sufficient, law-abiding, contributing members of society. |
The 200 men recognized at the ceremony, held at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan, join approximately 100 others who will graduate from The Doe Fund's Ready, Willing & Able programs in Philadelphia and Jersey City this year.
The Doe Fund also runs a shelter in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In addition, its street-cleaners are used by business improvement districts on several busy streets, one of them being Montague Street. To date, more than 3,000 graduates of the RWA program have achieved full-time jobs, permanent housing and lasting sobriety.
"The men who commit to our Ready, Willing & Able program are ready to change their lives and want a hand up rather than a hand out," said George McDonald, founder and president of The Doe Fund, Inc. "We provide them with the tools they need to succeed -- paid transitional work, job training and important support services to stabilize their lives, stay sober and build a promising future. These graduates, former 'men in blue,' have picked those tools up and used them to get to this point." Gary Caldwell, a graduate of The Doe Fund's innovative RWA-Day prisoner re-entry program who was in prison until a year ago for a drug-related crime, was the featured graduation speaker. Caldwell earned his pest control license through [email protected] -- one of The Doe Fund's socially responsible business ventures -- and is now employed full-time by a private company.
"I don't wonder anymore about whether I'll fall back into drugs and alcohol, or whether I'll get caught for this or that petty crime," said Caldwell. "Today, I use the lessons I learned from The Doe Fund, living life on life's terms and taking it day by day."
The Doe Fund is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to offering life-changing opportunities to formerly homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals through paid work, transitional housing, and comprehensive support services.
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