Austin Woman Magazine — Outreach of Hope

Four woman-backed nonprofits are lending a helping hand to those most in need in the Austin community; July 2018

Melissa first saw adult life on the outside of prison walls in June 2015. She was behind bars for 15 years, having been convicted as a teenager and sent to prison by the time she was 21. She basically grew up imprisoned. When she was released into society, she had never used a cellphone, had a driver’s license or rented an apartment.

Despite the odds, Melissa created a happy new life for herself. With patience and maturity, she built healthy relationships with her two teenage children, who had been infants when she went to prison, and is now thriving in a managerial job in the hospitality field, overseeing a small staff and a departmental budget.

Melissa largely credits her success to a program she participated in while incarcerated. Truth Be Told, a local nonprofit service organization, provides the transformational programs that encourage community building, communication skills, creativity and self-care for women behind and beyond prison walls.

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