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Patrick's Story


Jun 24, 2024
In the fall of 2023, when Patrick re-entered the community after over 15 years of incarceration, he didn’t think he was going to be able to find or hold down employment.  

“Things had changed so much over the years and I wasn't able to change with them. So it was like getting out and knowing nothing,” said Patrick. “I didn't think that anybody was going to give me a chance. I mean having a criminal record and just a multitude of things were going against me.” 

However, upon release, Patrick connected with the Pathways Program who introduced him to Working Fields’ supportive employment services. His first step with Working Fields was a job survey with Senior Account Manager, Lorcan, during which they discussed Patrick's concerns, goals, and barriers to employment. Following the survey, Lorcan matched him with a Working Fields peer coach and placed him in an open position with Working Fields’ employer, Lane Press. 

Facing the Challenges of Returning to Work 

Re-entering the workforce after more than 15 years of incarceration came with many challenges. As Patrick started his job, he experienced anxiety and sometimes felt like giving up. A major support for him during these times was his Working Fields Peer Coach, Jason.  

“Jason was awesome. He helped me in more ways than I think he even knows. He went out of his way for me and I didn't expect that from anybody,” said Patrick. “He would always encourage me to keep striving and when I accomplished a goal, he praised me for doing a good job.” 

A few times Patrick thought about quitting his job with Lane Press. He got frustrated and overwhelmed, but Jason was there for him. 

“He helped me through the whole ordeal of being new back into the workforce. He was a major part of me keeping my job,” said Patrick. “He let me know that it’s not just me. He put himself in my shoes and let me know that everyone has their struggles whether they’ve been incarcerated or not.” 

Embracing Support Outside the Job Realm 

In addition to coaching Patrick through the challenges of transitioning back into work, Jason also helped him with aspects of his life outside of the job realm including learning how to use technology and computers, and managing his substance use disorder.  

Patrick has been sober and in recovery for almost 16 years, but it is always a struggle for him. Being able to talk with Jason, who could relate to Patrick through his own lived experience in recovery, helped Patick keep going. 
“Jason always encouraged me to not give up. There's always reasons why someone uses or drinks. And we spoke about a few in my life and he's kept every bit of it confidential,” said Patrick. “I learned how to trust pretty much through him.” 

Looking Ahead 

After 5 months of temporary employment through Working Fields with Lane Press, Patrick was hired as a permanent full time Lane Press employee. Through his willingness to accept support, his determination, and his hard work, Patrick has climbed halfway up the ladder in the press room and now has his driver’s license and a car.  

“Patrick has been a dependable reliable employee for Lane Press,” said Mark, Director of Human Resources at Lane Press. “The crew on the 3rd shift is thrilled to have him working here. Patrick has quickly become part of the team and is counted on by his coworkers.” 

Working for Lane Press has been one of the best experiences and jobs Patrick’s ever had. He greatly appreciates the supportive work environment they foster in addition to benefits that include physical therapy and technology training. 

“They treat their employees like family and are always checking in on me and seeing how I’m doing. They’re always trying to help you better yourself,” said Patrick. 

Looking back at when he started over 6 months ago, Patrick didn’t think he was going to have this kind of success and credits Working Fields and Lane Press for giving him a chance.  

“Working Fields is a program that doesn't just put you in the right direction. They help steer and guide you. And I think that was what kept me pushing forward even though I wanted to give up,” said Patrick. “I just appreciate the opportunity that I was given without judgement.” 

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