White Feather Re-Entry
(formerly Fresh Start Housing)
Clean & Sober Shared Living
in Western Washington
White Feather Re-Entry provides stable transitional housing with supportive services to clients, thereby enhancing public safety.
The vision of White Feather Re-Entry is to provide a single point of contact for resources, case management, and a support network for individuals as they transition back to our communities.
Case management may include, but not be limited to: housing, employment, education, counseling, and appropriate treatment to meet individual needs.
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Founder & Owner
Lesta Rogers started Fresh Start Housing in 1985. In September 2011 she changed the name of this organization to White Feather Re-Entry due to some new housing groups using the term "Fresh Start" as part of their name. Lesta believes in helping others, especially those just released from prison. She donates her time and money for this cause and tends to operate White Feather Reentry like a non-profit organization. Lesta and the supporters of White Feather Re-Entry believe that neighborhoods are safer if transitioning offenders have housing as the first step in community support.
Residents have served their time as payment to society. Newly released, most of them have nothing, sometimes only the clothes they are wearing, so their needs are many. Housing forms the first step in their successful re-entry.
Lesta's focus is on providing quality locations in Pierce County as well as throughout Washington State. She has a strong relationship with the Washington State Department of Corrections from years of working cooperatively with both the Department and prisoners.
How We Have Helped
Since 2000, White Feather Re-Entry (formerly Fresh Start Housing) has helped over 1,000 Washington released prisoners re-enter the community. Each year more than 150 people receive transitional housing and services. In 2008, we provided approved housing to approximately 10% of the returning prison population in Pierce County.
My name is Johnny Sauceda. I hope and pray that this letter helps you and encourages you to help others, or to take the responsibility head-on as I have.
I did 16 years in prison and while on the inside I got involved with many Christian groups. I also went to college full time. I felt compelled to do the right thing and absorb everything I could while in prison. I did suffer the consequences of my actions, not with denial, but with truth, throughout the 16 years of changing my life and thoughts for a better purpose for the future.
When I was released from prison I had nowhere to go. DOC (the Department of Corrections) let me out homeless. I was lucky enough to go to the VA where they gave me a place to stay for four months (only) in a program for homeless Veterans. But after 16 years in prison, everything had changed. I felt all alone and afraid to go out, even to the store. Within the third month a friend I knew from the inside told me about a program called Fresh Start, run by Lesta Rogers. I was told she was looking for someone to manage one of her houses.
I was a little skeptical at first, but I agreed to meet with her. We had lunch; I was very impressed with her. I would have never guessed that someone who had never been in prison would help someone like me - an ex-felon in pain, ashamed, and full of fear, not knowing what was in store for me out in the free world.
But I managed to get the job with Fresh Start, managing the McKinley House. It was the best thing that happened to me at the time. I managed that house for two years. I began attending the church Lesta attended. I became very close to Lesta, and consider her to be a very close friend. She is a person with respect, very caring, and full of compassion. Every time I needed someone to talk to she was there for me. Lesta did not judge me, but rather opened her heart to help me as she has done for many others before me. She even helped me to buy a house! I married in my own new back yard; Lesta was maid of honor.
I don’t think I would be where I am today if it were not for Fresh Start and Lesta Rogers. I am now going to Covenant Bible Seminary, working full time at the VA, and hoping to receive my Masters in Biblical studies by the end of Summer, 2010.
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that I have been out for only four years this February 22, 2010. In retrospect, I pray that Fresh Start continues to help those in need and that they find their full potential. May God answer our prayers.
February 9, 2010