Life dealt Emmett some rough cards early on during his childhood. When he was 9 years old, his mother died. To cope with the loss, Emmett turned to drugs and alcohol, which led to the next four decades of his life in addiction and in and out of the prison system.
Emmett knew he wasn’t a bad man, he was just making bad choices.
After finding sobriety at Pacific Garden Mission, Emmett was introduced to Cara and our social enterprise Cleanslate.
“Man, I was so thankful for that opportunity. I was waiting for this. I knew that this was the opportunity to change me.”
During this time, he realized a newfound sense of hope that his past didn’t define him or his future.
“It’s the individual that determines their success at Cleanslate. People who come here have to put in the work. You can’t come here with a negative attitude and expect a positive outcome.”
His hard work and leadership skills made him an all-star Cleanslate crew member catching the attention of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and their Second Chance Program.
Two years later, Emmett is now employed full-time with the CTA, and he has moved into his own apartment that he shares with his wife, Sanora, who he met at Pacific Garden Mission.
“Without Cara and Cleanslate, I’d be homeless. Jobless. When I first left the penitentiary I had no one. Cara and Cleanslate gave me a network of support.”
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