SUMTER, S.C. — For dozens of former inmates, the closet at Sumter’s Clean Slate Reentry Program is often the first step they’ll take after incarceration.
Randy Master, an eight-month participant, still remembers the first day he arrived, with Program Director Derek Gamble there to greet him.
“First thing he did was start giving me clothes and everything I needed…. Help me get my ID, social security card and birth certificate - all that was lost while I was incarcerated,” Master said. “It felt wonderful.”
Helping others transition back into society has been a passion for Gamble since he left jail himself.
“Speaking from a personal experience, when you get out of incarceration most of the times you only have the clothes on your back. You may know a few numbers for relatives, but other than that you’re basically starting out like a newborn child,” Gamble said. “That motivated me to start this program…. We help them with housing, employment, pardons, expungement and anything else that they need.”
According to Gamble, there’s no upfront cost for the program, but after finding a job, participants have to pay a weekly fee.
Master is now employed with his own home and looking toward the future.
“I know the lord sent these people to help me,” Masters said. “If you looking for a program that will help you this is the one.”