Creating a New and Better Life

Jeraurd Crosby - Dream Again Award honoree

Jeraurd was serving an 11 1/2 - 23 months sentence at the Allegheny County Jail for a violation of probation on a previous case of assualt. This was his sixth time serving time in jail. A father to three children, he had an unstable relationship with the mother of his youngest child. He viewed himself negatively, the result of past traumatic events in his life. He was angry and rebellious, with a "me against the world" attitude. He didn't care about himslef, his family, or others.

As the result of a suggestion from his lawyer, Jeraurd enrolled in Family Services of Western Pennsylvania's Re-Entry program at the jail. He wanted to change his life and get the help that he desperately needed. He attended a Batterer's Intervention class, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Parenting and Relationship classes provided by Family Services, and participated in phone calls and visits with his children. He completed machining classes to prepare for life after jail. He was doing everything he needed to do to become a better person. He wanted to be involved with as many services as he could and took advantage of as many programs as he could.

Upon completing his sentence, Jeraurd went to Recovery Home for a month until he was able to secure housing with a family member. He attended the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh for masonry training and participated in Yours Project while on probation. For seven months post-release, he maintained contact with his Community Service Coordinator. This involved home visits, counseling and assistance identifying resources needed to remain free. 

After release from non-reporting probation, Jeraurd bagan working at a restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh, but soon thereafter it closed. He didn't lose hope, however, and kept applying for jobs as a cook until he landed one. Because of his work ethic, he was promoted to Assistant Kitchen Manager in July of 2016. He now has his own apartment and is actively invloved in the lives of his children, has postive relationships with them, and spends his free time with them while saving his money to follow his dreams.

On November 10, 2016, Geraurd was awarded the agency's Dream Again Award for overcoming severe obstacles in his life, for continuing the required work on his recovery, for persevering, and for daring to dream again.

For more inspirational stories, please go here.