Emancipator Perrie Anderson’s journey with Clean360 began by reading a handout on display at a local community employment center in Oakland. “What caught my eye about the Emancipators Initiative was that it provided jobs for East Oaklanders previously incarcerated and on probation. I went to Roots Community Health Center to receive more information and received a warm welcome. I signed up for healthcare and a soap making workshop. It wasn’t easy getting into the Emancipators Initiative twelve week program, but I was determined and I kept coming back. Due to the programs popularity, I waited four months before I was accepted. I liked that Roots was about helping people with barriers. It was hard for me to find a job, now that I’m employed I have more respect for myself. This program is a blessing, and I’m thankful to be a part of the organization.” During the Emancipators Initiative twelve week apprenticeship, Perrie proved himself with hard work, self-respect, and dedication. He gained essential skills to make him workforce ready and enhance his personal life.
Perrie’s strong work ethics were recognized, he has been an Emancipator at Clean360 for the past six months. He shakes his head as he recalls how life was before the program, “I was unemployed for fifteen years. At times, it was hard for me to buy my son a popsicle or a sucker. I remember being on drugs and not caring. One particular time, I went to the store with my son, he was picking out candy, and he opened a package – I couldn’t pay for it. That incident was very embarrassing, and I vowed to myself that I would never be in that predicament again. It was time to grow up.”
The road to success for Perrie has been paved with challenges. “My fiancé and I have two lovely boys Perris, age nine, and Elijah, five years old. Both boys have autism, Perris has been diagnosed with severe autism. Perris’ disorder is like having five kids in one child, and it’s demanding. My family looks up to me, and my fiancé is grateful that I’m contributing financially. My sons look forward to me coming home. I enjoy putting them to bed, waking them up in the morning, and we brush our teeth together while I’m getting ready for work. It makes me proud to be able to take care of my family and be a positive role model for my boys.“
During the last six months, Perrie has experienced several accomplishments, “I recently received my driver’s license, I’ve completed parenting classes, and maintained good rapport with my parole officer. I’ve changed my life, I stay positive, and don’t focus on negativity. It’s a journey, and I’m making it happen.”
What’s next for Perrie? “I want to be a homeowner. I would like my sons to have a room of their own, and a backyard. The Emancipators Initiative has made it possible for me to have this vision, I look forward to achieving this goal.”
To learn more about our Emancipators Initiative and read more inspiring stories, please visit www.rootsclinic.org