Better Futures Minnesota’s purpose is to fuel and guide the desire of men to turn their lives around and walk a new path toward a better future.
We do this by holding true to our expectations and values. We value work, high expectations, and accountability to perform.
Men in Better Futures are deeply committed to making positive changes in their lives in order to live productively, reconnect with their families, and reengage with the community.
These are the stories of a few of the men we have engaged to help them attain self sufficiency and walk the path to a successful, happy future.
Shawn, Age 38:
Beginning at the age of nine I was raised by a single mother. My mother was able to provide for us, but she was very strict. If I misbehaved she often resorted to violence.
At the age of 12 my cousins introduced me to cocaine. I developed a habit that would take over much of my life for the next 20 years. Each day I lived with the stress of drug use and dealing. Eventually I was sent to prison. Upon my release it was very hard to avoid returning to my old ways. I found help in Better Futures, and a judge set aside a new sentence as long as I avoid further trouble with the law.
It is very difficult to find employment with a felony record. Better Futures provides employment and housing opportunities that would be hard to secure on my own. I hope to eventually start a small clothing company, and Better Futures is helping me work toward that goal.
Lamont, Age 32:
As a child I lived with my mother and stepfather. We had a stable family, but as I became a teenager I started to rebel. My stepfather owned a car dealership and tried to show me that I could earn honest money working a regular job. I ignored his advice and got lost in the business of selling drugs, eventually landing in prison.
While in prison I realized I had let my family down and I would have to clean up my act. I joined Better Futures when I was released. Better Futures has helped me develop my life goals and provided me with the stability to make better decisions.
My main goal is to use my carpentry skills to develop a real estate business. I would also like to be a mentor for young kids who do not have positive role models in their lives. Better Futures provides a great opportunity for me to succeed.
James, Age 41:
I had a very happy childhood and was raised by my grandmother. I never met my father and my mother was not part of our lives. I received a good education despite a learning disability that prevented me from continuing past the 12th grade.
I began to associate with a bad crowd and took to life in the streets. I had five kids before being sent to prison for seven years. Eventually my oldest son joined me in prison for some of the same mistakes I had made and I felt directly responsible for leading him down a destructive path.
After a visit with Better Futures, I decided to join the organization upon my release. I now have full-time employment, a bank account, and I pay taxes and have a positive relationship with my kids. It would be extremely difficult to achieve all of these goals on my own. Despite the setbacks in my past, Better Futures has helped me succeed for my family.