Carlos Serrano, a native of New York City, grew up in a community where he wasn’t presented with many positive choices. At a young age, Carlos’ life was spent selling drugs and engaging in things that later would cost him his freedom. Carlos never really had a close relationship with his mother or father; however, at least he wanted to build one. Carlos arrived in Connecticut at the age of 24 seeking to reconnect with his father. Carlos was in Connecticut for only a total of 52 hours when he found himself facing up to 16 years of prison time. “Being locked up truly changed my life. The time I spent in prison made me reflect and restart everything about my life”, says Carlos.
Although Carlos was set to spend a total of 16 years in prison, he was released after 6 years. Not long after, Carlos was introduced to Isaiah Halfway House and later place in the Father’s House, which helped him prepare to finally transition home and to build a better relationship with his children while in the “Fathers for Life Program”.
“I knew coming straight home from prison would only be setting myself up for failure. I had no guidance and I needed help. The halfway house gave me so many opportunities to get the things I needed to get back to my family,” says Carlos.
Carlos spent countless hours in programs, training, and sessions dedicated to helping him be fully rehabilitated to come home to his family. Carlos also found that job training and fatherhood sessions were very helpful to him. Not long after coming home, Carlos found employment with the Approval Medical Waste site in Bridgeport, CT and he has been there ever since. Carlos went from a worker to being promoted to supervisor — all while residing in the Isaiah Halfway House.
“While I was in prison I spent time grabbing as many certifications I could, but I still needed more. Now I have a job where I can use the skills I gained and also I can learn new ones. This job is not my final goal but I plan to use this time to also get my GED,” says Carlos. As Carlos continues to excel at his place of employment, he is also preparing to build his family. Carlos is married with an 11-year-old son and a baby girl on the way, this November.
“Being a father for the second time is exciting. I owe it to my son to show him he can be better, and can achieve anything he wants in life and also to know that he and his sister will always have my support,” says Carlos.Since coming home, Carlos never encountered the support he now has from his family, Career Resources Inc., and Isaiah House. “The support that I’ve been blessed with from the staff has been amazing. No one has ever told me I could do something life-changing. I think that is what I needed. My wife supports me and I support her. Everyone has shown support,” says Carlos.
This summer Carlos transitioned out of the Isaiah Halfway House — all while maintaining his employment. He is now a supervisor at Approval Medical Waste in Bridgeport and he visits Isaiah house to help other men find employment. Carlos reflected, “I remember an older guy in prison reminding me that if you needed the help to take the help, so I want to show these guys who were once in my shoes that help is here.”