Recently, Freedom Ticket talked with David Mirambeaux
, author of “Count-Time: An Offender’s Guide to Success
” about his book for people leaving corrections facilities and his work with the Goodwill-Easter Seals FATHER Project.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. As a young child living in Boston, Mass., I faced many obstacles and didn’t feel like I fit in. I found no solace at home due to my parents’ constant abuse towards each other and toward me.
My hunger for acceptance led me to many activities where I excelled. In high school, I found my passion playing basketball on the varsity team during my freshman year. I felt like I belonged because when I heard the cheers after every play, I felt special. Unfortunately, because of my tumultuous upbringing, I was expelled from multiple schools for either fighting or regularly misbehaving, thus returning to where I felt worthless, with no hope and longing to fit in.
On my 17th
birthday, I was introduced to my next passion, illegal drugs. It was during this drug usage when I again felt I like belonged and was special. I fueled this passion for 18 years and accumulated six years in the penitentiary, obtained numerous stab wounds, was shot twice, had two children whom I neglected, lived in multiple states and countries, consistently disappointed my family, had many broken relationships, and attempted suicide on three separate occasions. It was after these suicide attempts that I realized my idea for happiness was wrong and my peace and happiness would come from helping others. I immediately entered treatment and began working toward helping others.
Please tell us more about the Goodwill-Easter Seals FATHER Project.
The FATHER Project’s mission is to assist fathers in overcoming the barriers that prevent them from supporting their children economically and emotionally. Founded in 1999, Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota took over the project from the City of Minneapolis in 2004. Since then, it has served hundreds of fathers in the community through an extensive network of collaborative partners. The FATHER Project has received national recognition as an effective and innovative program. In 2012, it received federal funding to expand to other Minnesota communities.
The FATHER Project services include workshops on parenting skills, job search preparedness, setting personal and financial goals and overcoming chemical dependency.
To learn more about the FATHER Project, please contact Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota at (612) 724-3539.
Any final suggestions for people leaving corrections facilities?
The advice I have for offenders is that they should take advantage of everything offered in whatever institution they are in before release, and after release they need to connect with services that offer them reentry assistance as well as mentorship.