A Glimpse Inside: Nancy’s Powerful Reentry Journey


“The first couple months—you’re just a fish out of water, trying to survive.”

Nancy — a Sponsors graduate, describes her current life as… “amazing, better than I could have ever imagined… even better than life was before all of the craziness of addiction and prison.” Nancy is happily engaged to be married and has a good job working for a socially responsible company. She feels stable and is excited to be planning for her future, especially when she recalls a time in her life when it was hard to plan for the next day or week.

After struggling with addiction, Nancy was sentenced to nearly two years in prison. While locked up, Nancy chose to participate in a drug treatment program provided inside the prison and was able to get and stay clean. She describes this as a major turning point for her. As her release date approached, Nancy realized she had a choice to make — return to the environment where she had previously used drugs or take a different path and participate in Sponsors transitional program. She chose Sponsors — and she wishes many more people releasing from prison shared that opportunity.

Nancy describes her reentry journey as difficult, she often felt overwhelmed. “It’s so hard to make decisions. I was uncomfortable in my skin being sober and out of the prison culture.” She also recalled how impressed and thankful she was to have support from Sponsors staff. “My case manager and I would have scheduled check-ins twice per week; those touchstones were so crucial for me. I also participated in a cognitive-behavioral therapy group while at Sponsors, which helped me to feel connected.”

With support, encouragement and her own tenacity — Nancy’s life began to change for the better.

When she was ready to begin her employment search, she reached out to a friend and was able to get an interview at a local salon. “When I went in, I was very honest with the owners — and I couldn’t believe they gave me a chance.” After a few months, Nancy successfully completed the transitional program at Sponsors and took a big step, moving out on her own.

Looking back on her experiences, Nancy says, “Sponsors didn’t save my life. I own that hard work myself. But it did open doors to help me stabilize and transition successfully back into my community.”

When asked why she chose to share her story many years after graduating from Sponsors, Nancy explained that she wanted people in our community who were thinking about partnering with Sponsors to know how much the program is helping people at a crucial time in their life when support is nearly impossible to find.”