Nearly 100 people needing hope and a chance to get back on their feet found help today at the Sowing Hope Resource Fair.
"I was a strong, very determined, smart young lady. You forget that when people continue to tell you that is not what you are. So you come to places like this and try to get hope," said Sowing Hope Resource Fair attendee Stori Gould.
Resilient Tulsa partnered with Tulsa's Block Builderz for the event. News On 6 shares the stories of 2 women who say they're still paying the price for crimes they committed almost 20-years ago.
When your decisions land you in prison, the punishment doesn't always stop when your sentence does - at least that's true for Stori Gould.
"I made some really poor decisions when I was younger and have found myself as an adult as a very well educated, professional woman, still finding it hard to find a job because of my incarceration so long ago," said Gould, "I am not the decision I have made. I am a different person today, but yet I still pay the price."
Raittia Rogers has a similar story. She spent three years in prison more than a decade ago and says her past cost her a job she loved.
"It was heartbreaking because I had been there for nearly 5 years,” said Rogers.
Both women are at the Sowing Hope Resource Fair today along with close to a hundred other people who are wanting a chance to reach their potential despite their past choices and criminal histories. There was child care, lunch, ways to continue education, and employers ready to hire.
"Especially as we are seeing a lot of criminal justice reform happening at the state and federal level I think we are going to be needing more information, more coordination to support those who are involved in the justice system," said the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity Chief Resilience Officer Krystal Reyes.
It was a day designed to focus on second chances, new beginnings and "hope."
"Hope. Hope for not just me but hope for others. There is hope. Don't give up," said Rogers.
Resilient Tulsa says this was one of three events designed to help Tulsans involved in the criminal justice system. They say it went so well they're looking at doing it again.