Timothy Barkley, a resident at Renascence since October 3, 2016, made his first trip home in years this Mother’s Day and saw his whole family.
It all began with a phone call one Saturday afternoon from his sixteen-year-old son, Tyler, whom he hadn’t seen in 10 years, 8 months, and 4 days, as he was informed by Tyler. “I thought that was the greatest phone call ever,” he recalls. “Until the next day when my twenty year old son, Cole, called. We talk non-stop now. They have grown up to be fine young men, and I’m so proud of them.”
While home, Timothy saw his whole family—mother, daughter Tracey, his brothers, and his grandchildren. “I know this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Renascence and God,” he said. “Words can’t describe the feeling I am having.”
Timothy describes arriving at Renascence in October, “not knowing what to expect. The fear of failing again was in my mind and I felt hopeless.”
He remembers vividly the first 24 hours, when he got a clean room, food, and clothes, and “most of all, a caring atmosphere.” As the days went by, he “gained confidence that there was hope for someone like me. That I could change my way of thinking and become a responsible member of society. I’ve learned to be responsible and honest through the programs we have. But most of all, I went from hopeless to full hope and excitement for a new way of life.”
“The people responsible for Renascence’s existence [must have] known all the feelings you experience when you get out of prison, the hopes and fears. They know how to teach you responsibility and to do the right thing.”
“As the days passed, I got a job, my driver’s license, and a car. But something was still missing. I was encouraged to contact my family, which I tried to do, but didn’t have much success.” That is, until the “the greatest phone call ever,” described above.
These are the kinds of stories that keep us at Renascence motivated to help these men who have never had, but definitely need, a second chance. In Alabama, men (and women) are still released from prison with $10, a bus ticket, and the clothes on their backs. Without a safe place to go, food, clothes, and the essentials of living on one’s own, those without family support usually go back to prison.
Timothy closed this interview by saying, “I could never tell each and every one of you who are a part of Renascence how much I love you for making this miracle happen in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for a safe, drug-free home and a second chance at life for me. May God continue to bless Renascence and you, the supporters, and the many more miracles to come. My sons and daughter are actually proud of their Dad.” And we at Renascence are proud of Timothy!
Reprinted from our 2017 Father's Day special mailing
Timothy with his sons on his visit home over Mother’s Day weekend