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Second Chances—Chapter 1
December 3, 2021
No matter where we come from, no matter the cards we or dealt or the decisions we make, we all deserve a second chance.
For the next four weeks, the Pepper Bough will share the stories of four unique, inspiring men in “Second Chances.” These men, all living in the transitional home for homeless men at Mary’s Village in San Bernardino, come from different backgrounds, different places, and share very different stories, yet have all found a place to call home at Mary’s Village.
Mary’s Village is one part of Mary’s Mercy, a nonprofit organization transitional program, dedicated to offering housing for unhoused men that are either applied or referred into the program. Within the program, these men are housed for two years and are given resources in order to prepare for individual housing outside the home.
Not only is this program dedicated to offering help to these men, but has an even greater dedication to giving these men second chances. Four men who have received their second chances from the help of Mary’s Village are Ryan Costales, Derek Robinson, Quincy Coleman, and Daniel Macias.
These men all have learned different lessons in life and have different stories to tell. Each of them has arrived at Mary’s Village through different paths. But what these men share is the hope to leave Mary’s Village on a different path than the one on which they walked in.
Derek Robinson put it best: “Being here is like a stepping stone to getting my life back.”
The Men of Mary’s Mercy
Ryan Costales is 29-years old, and was referred to the program. In his story, we learn more about what it means to make mistakes. To Ryan making mistakes made him a bad person. What it really means is that he, like others, was afraid to reach out for help. The second chance he received was to show that his mistakes don’t define who he is as a person.
Derek Robinson is 31-years old and was also referred to the program. His second chance at Mary’s Village involved owning up to his mistakes. Being here allowed him to reflect on his actions and gives him the opportunity to learn how to make himself better when he graduates from the program. His story shows us that at the end of the day we have the responsibility to make decisions that influence, but that we also have the responsibility to learn from our mistakes to make better ones in the future.
Quincy Coleman is 43-years old and he too received a second chance. Quincy has always considered himself to be very independent. This mentality led to him holding on to some deeply felt negative emotions. His second chance was being able to forgive not only those who have hurt him, but also himself. And by forgiving himself he is learning how to make decisions that allow him to grow as a person.
Daniel Macias is 40-years old and at Mary’s Village. He tells his story about how are the young are impressionable and who we surround ourselves with influences who we become. The second chance he received taught him to learn from the mistakes he made so he can share his story and be a role model for others.