Kevin Lindgren spent his young adulthood in prison. When he was released, he walked out with the clothes he was wearing, a few dollars and the strong will to build a good and upstanding life.
“I did bad things, got into moving drugs, and that’s about all I knew how to do,” says Lindgren. “I spent 22 years inside, so when I got out the whole world was different.”
FREE BUT FOR HOW LONG?
Lindgren tried and tried to get a job but lacking computer skills he struggled to even submit an application, and those employers he did contact refused to hire an ex-con. Frustrated and down to his last dollar, Kevin called his probation officer and said he was on the edge of returning to his former career. Of course that prompted some choice expletives, followed by a call to Fathers and Families in San Joaquin County.
“Those people saved my life,” says Lindgren.
Fathers and Families is a non-profit working with California Human Development (CHD) to provide emergency assistance and job training to recently released non-violent offenders. They stepped in, walked Kevin off the edge and called CHD’s office in Lodi, where he was enrolled in the CHD truck driver training program in Stockton.
“It wasn’t easy for me to get through that school, just getting there was hard because I live an hour away and didn’t have a car,” says Lindgren. “But CHD stuck with me and I’m so grateful they did!”
Lindgren graduated, obtained his Class A license, and with CHD’s help he immediately applied for—and GOT—a truck driving position with El & El Wood Products in Galt.
A SECOND CHANCE, A NEW BEGINNING
“I told them about my past and they said they ‘appreciated my honesty.’ Imagine that? Their head driver also graduated from CHD, so that helped. But really, I’m blown away by how awesome this company is!”
Recently, Kevin bought a car—his first ever! He makes good money, enough to pay his bills and even get ahead a bit. He works as much overtime as he can because he loves the perks of honest employment…like spoiling his grandson with gifts and outings.
“I love my job and I love my new life.” says Lindgren. “I do work hard, but it’s worth it. I had no idea I could be this happy!”