Metro Detroit foundation takes new aim to help returning citizens get on their feet

For years, a metro Detroit family's foundation has been helping people in need with everything from rent payments to home furnishings to transportation.

And now the Here to Help Foundation is reaching out to a specific group of people to help with a second chance with their Returning Hope to Returning Citizens program. 

From alcohol and drug addiction to homelessness and prison, Chanta Paul has been through a lot. And when she was paroled a couple of years ago, she was feeling pretty lost.

"I was just hopeless. I didn't know what to do. I said I've got to sleep on the floor tonight."

And she did sleep on the floor. She had found a job and a place to live but she didn't have anything else.

"I had obtained an apartment but I didn't have any furniture, I didn't have anything in there and I was just lost. I didn't know what to do. I didn't have anybody to call to help me."

A counselor had her contact Bob Schwartz and his wife, Robin, who run the Here to Help Foundation. They helped furnish her apartment and even helped her get a car.

"Since we began in 2007, our goal is to help as many people in need as possible and what we've learned over time is that a lot of people that were coming to us in need of help were returning citizens," Bob said.

We've introduced you to Bob and the Here to Help Foundation before but now he's introducing us to their latest venture - a program specifically for those coming out of the criminal justice system. It's called Returning Hope to Returning Citizens. 

"The goal of any returning citizen program designed to assist these individuals is to break the cycle of incarceration," Bob said.

So Returning Hope to Returning Citizens is doing just that by helping people get back on their feet, people like Chanta Paul. 

"He said is there anything else that you need and from there on I just said, there is people out here that care and I can make it now. I can do it," she said.

And she did. She's now a certified recovery coach helping others and paying it forward.

"I wouldn't be right here where I'm at today if it wasn't for him and his organization, Here to Help Foundation," she said. "It gave me a lot of hope and I'm so grateful."

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