Thank you for checking out my page. This is a fundraiser for Thrive DC, a non-profit organization in Washington DC whose mission is to end and prevent homelessness. Our donations will specifically go towards their “New Directions” program which assists those who have been recently incarcerated and/or released from jail or prison, and helps them get back on track towards becoming successful returning citizens and avoiding recidivism. New Directions does this by offering case management, basic needs assistance (meals, toiletries, clothing etc.), life skills education, job training, and access to sobriety maintenance assistance and support.
Why am I asking for a donation? This is personal for me, because from 2017-2019 I was incarcerated four times, kicked out of homeless shelters, and living on the streets for a period of time. Being incarcerated significantly impacts your mental health and well-being by creating new mental health issues and worsening pre-existing conditions.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and by contributing to our fundraiser you are helping other recently released individuals get back on their feet as they take strides to become productive members of society.
These mental disorders and symptoms go unnoticed by prison staff as they are simply viewed as normal reactions to this institutionalized setting, leaving inmates to suffer in silence and unable to receive the help they need. According to a study in 2020, those who reported poor mental health in prison were 33-68% more likely to return to jail/prison than their peers – and this is something that Thrive DC addresses with supportive, caring relationships while helping clients figure out their next steps.
After hitting a brand new rock bottom, I realized that life can always be worse and chose to harness my gratitude and use this adversity as a gift to propel me forward – “it’s only up from here.” In October 2020 I figured I had nothing to lose and jumped right into a 75 day mental toughness program called 75 Hard, part of which involves two 45 minute workouts every day. I got up at 4 am and ran every day before work, completely blocking out any excuses or compromising thoughts. I could barely run just one mile the first few weeks, but kept going. Fast forward ~10 months later and I’ve signed up for a 50k ultra marathon on December 11th of this year.
I am beyond grateful to have found fitness as a productive outlet to clear my mind, build character, and strengthen my mindset, which is why I’ve chosen to use this opportunity as a way to give back to those who feel helpless, suicidal, or are lacking their sense of purpose after being released from incarceration.