Monique was a participant of the Chopping for Change (C4C) program and currently works as a cook in LMM’s Central Kitchen operation. Some of her favorite hobbies are cooking, listening to music, and spending time with her family.
The C4C program meant so much to Monique. “I was grateful to be able to get in the program… I’ve learned different ways of cooking and how to know different tools to use and ingredients and measurements.” And with these skills Monique hopes to start her own business one day!
In her transition from being incarcerated to re-entering society, Monique has faced several challenges including generating a steady income and finding and maintaining housing. Monique went on to describe that she has struggled to afford rent. “I couldn’t really afford what they were asking for at the time. Too much money. I’m working part time. So I didn’t have what they wanted.”
“I tried not to lose faith in whatever I was doing and try to accomplish. I just kept on moving and prayed.”
Research shows that individuals returning back into society from prison struggle to have and maintain any income, are often discriminated against by landlords, and can be restricted from receiving public housing (Herbert et al., 2015). Everything is interconnected with being able to find a job – making enough income to afford housing, while also being able to find long term and safe housing. This process is extremely difficult for those re-entering society.
Through some of these difficult days, Monique showed resiliency by relying on her faith. “I tried not to lose faith in whatever I was doing and try to accomplish. I just kept on moving and prayed.”
We are extremely grateful for Monique and grateful that she is a part of our LMM community!