This article is part of Scroll’s Second Chances series. Second Chances highlights the unique experiences and potential of individuals who have overcome substance abuse and/or incarceration, as well as the programs and people that supported their journey.

With a change in atmosphere, you begin to wonder, where you belong, where to go next and what is in store for the future. Everyone at one point or another will feel this strange feeling as they peak their way out of a dark hole in their lives.

Programs have been created to help individuals move forward and on a path that is well lit to benefit their future. Their shared goal is to uplift those in need.

Program categories can range from addiction recovery to mental illness awareness and re-entering into society after being incarcerated. The state of Idaho has roughly 15,000 people behind bars ranging from local county jails, juvenile prisons, federal prisons and state prisons.

Transitioning from a life of crime to one avoiding crime may pose mental and physical challenges. Being away from loved ones and community support systems for years can impact decision-making. Recovery and re-entry programs aim to help smooth over the rough patch of reintegration.

The Idaho Department Of Correction received over $46.6 million for probation and parole services. This increase in funding enables community re-entry programs all over Idaho to help individuals reintegrate into society by finding jobs, a roof over their heads, support with parole officers and easing back into reality.

One re-entry program in Boise, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, focuses on providing service and resources to those who have previously been incarcerated and do not have family or friend support. This program helps individuals get back on their feet and start where they are.

“We are a network of friends, inspired by gospel values, working to prevent homelessness by providing fundamental human needs to help our neighbors,” according to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul‘s mission statement.

The overall goal for those re-entering society is to emphasize that change and hope are possible.

The Idaho State Correctional Institution also created a program called “Clothing Closet.” This program is to help incarcerated individuals dress for success as they work towards obtaining job interviews. The program was created by Christine Diaz, a former parole hearing investigator, who has seen first-hand the struggles individuals encounter as they re-enter society.

Diaz shared with the Idaho State Correctional Institution that she enjoys seeing the change in the behavior and attitude of inmates when they make changes to their appearance and transform themselves back into neighbors rather than inmates.

“Despite all the hard work, seeing residents head out the door dressed for success makes it all worthwhile,” Diaz said.

This played an important role in many inmates’ lives as they started where they were and grew taller taking one step at a time re-entering society.

One Idaho Falls community member, who would like to remain anonymous, works with two previously incarcerated individuals. This community member shared what a great blessing it is to be a part of a change in the business world. Providing job opportunities to those in need and seeing where they are at now and the potential they can grow into.