“I was running with the wrong crowd and made bad choices,” Vincent admitted when asked what lead up to his incarceration. He was 11 when he first got in trouble and now at the age of 61, spent over 40 years in various juvenile facilities and prisons.
In 1985, while incarcerated, Vincent received his GED, and held jobs in the prison kitchen, landscaping, and custodial work. He would also pass the time by doing 1000 jumping jacks and pushups every day, but while doing roadside cleanup for MODOT, Vincent found himself tiring quickly and short of breath. Vincent sought medical attention from the prison doctor, but instead of getting a diagnosis, he got an early release for medical issues. “I didn’t know I had a heart condition until I saw a doctor at Washington University.” Vincent re-entered our community almost 2.5 years ago.
We asked Vincent how he found his way to CJM and he stated, “Other inmates knew I was getting out and they suggested I reach out to CJM for help with housing and other services…. I didn’t want to go back to Kansas City.” Vincent knew if he returned to KC he would find himself back with old friends, finding new trouble.
Vincent attributes his successful re-entry to his CJM Case Manager, “Ms. Loretta helped me get an apartment, helped me pay my bills, and took me to my doctor’s appointments.” In fact, Vincent credits CJM staff member Eric with saving his life. “Ms. Loretta was out of town and I didn’t know how to use my smart phone, so I didn’t know Eric and Brandon were trying to call me," "I went to his apartment to check on him because he wasn’t answering his phone, stated Eric Schultz of the CJM staff. “I knew something wasn’t right so I took him to the hospital.” Vincent emphatically told us, “That’s the man that saved my life… I was having a heart attack but I didn’t know that until Eric took me to the hospital.”
Despite his ongoing medical issues, and with doctor approval, Vincent still exercises every day, but he has cut back to only 300-400 jumping jacks and 100 pushups.