Program looks out for ex-cons following Hurricane Florence

NEW BERN, NC (WITN) For many who have served time behind bars, bouncing back into society can be a mountain of a challenge and an organization right here in the east is making sure they aren't alone, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

The Craven-Pamlico Re-Entry Council hopes to reduce recidivism among those who have been incarcerated by providing resources for men and women once they've been released.

Jeremiah Simmons is a program participant and says, "I'm 27-years-old and as of last year I just got home from doing 10 years in prison."

Greg Singleton, Program Director says, "We make sure their basic necessities are taken care of, food, clothing, shelter, those are our high water areas and that's what we focus on first because in order to be gainfully employed you need those areas taken care of."

Simmons says, "Since I've been with them I've landed a job a Baker's Kitchen. I've been there going on a year and now I'm in automotive technician school. It's just been a real plus and a real big help."

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence the council's job has become even more important.

Singleton says, "You know it's like someone who used to smoke cigarettes hypothetically and they stop and everything is going well and then something devastating happens and the first thing they think about is picking up that cigarette and falling back, that's the same thing here, that's why it's so important that we don't allow them to fall back."

On Wednesday the group made steps in the right direction by providing disaster recovery kits and snacks for their participants.

Simmons says, "It's a humble experience. It made me realize that you have to be thankful for the things you do have."

Officials with the Craven-Pamlico Re-Entry Council say they will continue to work with those in the program to make sure they have what they need as the hurricane recovery process continues to move forward.