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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 Pest@Rest -- 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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