My name is Eumeka, I was released from the Florida Women's Reception center in December 2015. After serving 5 years, I one of the more serious charges on my record. So I knew upon being released there would be obstacles and struggles. Returning home, I didn’t have the best support system. I lost everything while in prison. I had no clothing nor shoes of my own. I was wearing my Mom's clothing. My Daughter was a blessing to me and was able to help purchase somethings for me, but she is in college and working part-time hours and her resources were limited.
I didn’t have a drivers license, they were suspended. My Mother misplaced my birth certificate, so I wasn’t able to get a Florida ID. I felt as if I didn’t have a leg to stand on. But I knew I served a Good God, who sat High and looked low. I got depressed for some reason; my family decided they couldn’t help me. My family continued to tell me, “Continue searching for the birth certificate, it has to be here!” Meanwhile, life was going on. I needed that birth certificate to get a my ID card to gain employment.
One day I was sitting in my Mother's car, crying. I called Prison Fellowship. I got their number while I was incarcerated. I just needed to talk with someone, I was feeling low. The lady on the other line gave me the number of a non profit organization, “Women at the Well-Broward,” ran by Ms Shanna Johnson. Ms Johnson was sent from heaven.
I contacted Ms Shanna and was discussing all my issues and situations with her. She asked me for my address and within a day she showed up at my mother's house with bags of clothing, from casual to interview clothing, shoes and months worth of hygiene items. Ms Johnson convinced me to walk with confidence and return back to the workforce. I was still having the issue about my birth certificate. Ms Shanna gave me a $25.00 money order made out to Georgia Vital Statistics and she downloaded and printed the proper forms I needed to complete and request my birth Certificate from Georgia. Ms Shanna knew exactly what it felt like to feel stuck and unable to move and without a good support system. Ms Shanna was my support system! She motivated and encouraged me to continue seeking the face of Jesus and make declarations over my life. She kept in contact with me and she wouldn’t let me get stuck in a rut. She assisted me with resources for both my kids. With my kids schedule and Ms Shanna schedule, she made a way to get items and resources to them.
It took about 2 months before my birth certificate arrived, but meanwhile Ms Shanna had me focus on online classes to prepare for re-entry into the workforce. I didn’t take the services of Women at the Well-Broward for granted. As soon I was able to get my drivers license, Ms Johnson referred me to a Temp Agency the organization partnered with and I was hired immediately in March 2016 and shortly thereafter I was offered full time employment from the company. I went in honest and determined. Its hard work, but its worth it. I must say life is hard, but I’m blessed to be working. Some of us are still seeking employment, but one thing I can say about Ms. Shanna and the organization, Women at the Well-Broward, the words Can't and Won't is not in their vocabulary. The organization will try their best to make you a productive citizen and it is possible.
Also, in my field of work, I've been given the opportunity to start my own business now. I contacted Ms Shanna and she immediately signed me up for the Free Online Diploma Course “Diploma of Business Management and Entrepreneurship”
I can testify, Ms Shanna and her organization is truly a blessing to women returning home from prison.