In late 2017, Gabriel found himself trying to start his new life in Bridgeport CT upon
being released from prison. Gabriel knew no one in the city and was staying in a “half way
house” while he tried to jump start his new beginning. While in the half way house he was told by a fellow resident that “there is this great program that could help you, called Hang Time”. He found his way to us and became a weekly fixture at every session of Hang Time and events. As a native of Dominican Republic he would routinely shed light on issues and topics discussed from the “Dominican perspective”.
During his time with Hang Time we assisted him with all the resources he sought to improve his life. Gabriel took advantage of every free training and service we referred to him. He was very motivated by all that he learned at Hang Time sessions and would always report back to the group on how he would apply the newly learned information from sessions to his everyday life.
Without a word to anyone, Gabriel basically disappeared from Hang Time for over 8 months.
One Tuesday in early 2018, Gabriel reappeared at and took his normal seat at the table. He was greeted with an incredibly warm welcome and a barrage of questions from attendees and staff. He very politely told everyone “I’ll tell you what’s been up when we go through “mad or glad” , which was a clear indication he cherished and respected the format of the program.
As Roland conducted the mad or glad segment, Gabriel proudly explained to the entire room that Hang Time is like his family in the absence of his blood family in New York and the
Dominican Republic. He went on to say how much he missed his time at Hang Time and all
those he met while there. Finally, Gabriel thanked the Hang Time staff for all the support and
guidance that we have provided to him which led to him successfully completing an internship at Florida’s Disney World Resort for culinary. Lastly, he told everyone that he is back for good and is currently employed as a cook at a Fairfield Country Club. “I can’t tell you all how much you’ve helped me get to where I am today”, said Gabriel to a round of applause and congratulatory cheers.