Uhura Daniels was born and raised in New York City and is a native of the Bronx. He and his siblings were raised by their single mother who worked extremely hard to provide for her family. When asked what he most admires about his mother, Uhura says, “I love her nurturing and how she always taught us to take our education seriously.” Since his mother was busy working full-time to support her household, and her children were boys, she allowed them some social freedoms and was lenient in that regard. Uhura shares that growing up in New York City was a challenge and that having as much social freedom that he enjoyed led him to take advantage of that freedom and fall victim to peer pressure. In addition, the lack of a strong male presence or father-figure, led him to begin making risky choices that got him into trouble with the law and he ended up incarcerated.
While incarcerated, Uhura found clarity of purpose. “I made a conscious decision to make my mom proud and stay on the right path.” It was during this time that he learned about SCAP’s Reentry Employment Opportunities (REO) program and its services from a presentation at the jail. Being a strong self-advocate, Uhura was interested in a fresh start and thus committed to pursuing his goal of becoming selfsufficient. Upon completing his sentence, he found himself homeless and unemployed and decided to come to SCAP for Re-entry Rehabilitation through the REO program.
Once accepted into the program, Uhura was assisted by Liz and Meredith. They provided effective case management and assistance that helped get him moving in the right direction and toward his goal of being a productive and self-sufficient member of the community.
Liz and Meredith helped him replace his identification documents, apply for social service assistance, obtain a room at the Mission so he had a place to stay, and get access to job training so he could find good employment. Upon completing his job training, Liz and Meredith connected Uhura with the Golub Corporation and were able to help him get a good job working at the company. SCAP’s REO program also helped him get the items he needed for work like steel-toe work boots and his work uniforms. Keeping a positive mindset all along, Uhura continued to strive toward his goal of self-sufficiency, working hard to save money for his future.
Eventually, he was able to save enough money to afford to leave the Mission and move into his very own apartment. “It has been almost 18 months and I have been doing well. I am now able to assist in caring for my child, I am paying taxes. I am self-sufficient.” Uhura looks forward to continuing to work and aspires to take some vocational courses when his schedule allows in order to continue building his knowledge base and enhance his skillset.
When asked if he has any advice for others experiencing a similar situation he says, “You have to focus and want to rehabilitate yourself….I always share my testimony so that those who feel they cannot make positive changes [in their life] understand that there are people out there who care and want to help you.” While he has achieved stability in his life and is self-sufficient, Uhura acknowledges that SCAP remains a helpful resource for him: “SCAP is a great community program and they continue to help and guide me whenever I need it.”