Working within the community has always been a career choice for Vera Moore, CEO of True Beginnings; her diverse business and professional background allows her to help former offenders transition back into their communities and adopt a normal routine as they strive to be a positive influence in society. With more than 2 million-plus prisoners across the country, it costs taxpayers $70 Billion a year, roughly $130 dollars per day to house an inmate in the U.S. Prison System. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that many of these individuals will eventually be returning in the not so distant future to a home or community near you.
Justice involved individuals face many barriers and hardships upon reentry into society. Moore founded True Beginnings to assist formerly incarcerated people and their families with rebuilding self-esteem while reclaiming their rightful place as contributing members in the community. As they continue to demonstrate a change in attitude and gain leadership skills, opportunities will follow, providing a second chance at life. Moore admits she had made a number of bad choices, which included charges of arson and receiving stolen property. “Despite that, God helped me to recover and once again be in a position of leadership,” says Moore.
Moore realized that her motivation, her honesty, and qualifications only got her so far. She understood that a person’s past deeds are not easily forgotten or forgiven. She was able to get clean, get help, and put to use all the tools given to her to move forward. The hardest part was realizing that she was the only one in control of her decisions and actions. No one owed her anything. So in August of 2012 she moved her family to Hampton, Virginia, to start the journey of regaining her self-dignity and sharing the hard lessons learned as a result of past mistakes.
In the process Moore found and utilized a number of reentry services, but she noticed that something was lacking in the programs. There was no sense that anyone understood what formerly incarcerated people were going through. Today so many people who are returning from institutions immediately realize that a resume and good suit do not equip you for dealing with the rejection to come, and low wages. So recidivism is definite if people do not find or understand their purpose.
Moore’s organization True Beginnings specializes in gender responsive services, advocacy, and trauma treatment; with an emphasis on rebuilding skills and providing peer support. These are things that helped her along in her own journey. She believes people are worthy of second chances, and therefore continues to fight the good fight and push forward. It is her vision to prove there is a higher purpose in all of us and make that visible to society at large.