Wally Flores, 28, is scheduled to be released from a correctional center early next year. Upon his release he will live with family members, including his father and maternal aunt, who raised him after his mother passed. Flores is engaged to be married to his fiancé who has stood by him for over a decade and through two incarcerations. Together they have two children, and also help to raise Flores’ 10 year old son from a previous relationship.
Flores admits he has made some bad decisions in his past. Today, he is ready to close that door and start fresh. He says his experience with the Center for Self-Sufficiency, through its Healthy Marriage and Relationship (HR/M) curriculum helped him to realize it was time to do things differently.
“This (HR/M) is a real program. It’s helping us (offenders) to succeed and not fail, which is extremely important to me right now as I have a truly important life-event happening on May 10, 2014. My fiancé and I will be married after more than eight years of being engaged,” said Flores. “She has been there through all of it and I know the class will help me be there for her, and our children, from now on.”
Through its job fairs specifically geared to former offenders, Flores identified companies who are willing to take a chance and employ people who have been incarcerated. The Center for Self Sufficiency’s Vow to Succeed Program has also linked him to the community resource coordinator/case manager at MSCC and the Milwaukee County Department of Child Support Services to help him help repair his credit and re-establish child support payments prior to and upon his release.
With the support of the Center for Self Sufficiency, he is now working diligently to re-establish and maintain a strong and respectful relationship with his 10 year old son.
“Mostly I find the program has proven to me that there are people out there who will be supportive of me and believe in my success which will make things that much easier on the outside for me and my family,” said Flores. “The relationship building along with the trust component of the class will enable me and my family to grow together as the family we were meant to be.”
Flores hopes to implement a business plan to start up a tattoo parlor within a year of his release, while maintaining his current job (Flores is currently employed while incarcerated, and will be continue that job after his release). He says he is glad to know that there is a place like the Center for Self-Sufficiency out there if he needs support services or guidance after his release.
Learn more about the Center for Self-Sufficiency at http://www.centerinc.org.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Family Assistance