WILMINGTON -- A portion of the people filling up jails and prisons are probation and parole violators. One local organization is devoted to avoiding that and getting people back on their feet. Roy Feaster has served multiple prison terms for drugs and eventually decided enough was enough. He got involved with LINC, Inc., which stands for Leading Into New Communities. Feaster said, "Doing this job, it gives more structure in my life, to keep me more active in my recovery." He has been clean for 19 months, is the facility manager at the LINC house where he temporarily lives and has a small repair business. Frankie Roberts started the organization eight years ago. He said, "It was based on my childhood experience with a brother who was addicted to heroin." LINC helps people released from jail and prison find shelter, teaches them life skills and money management, and helps find employment. LINC has helped Feaster find his independence. He said, "It's not my own, but I'm making it my own because they're giving me opportunities to do that." Seven-hundred people have gone through the program and only 51 have returned to prison. Roberts says the organization needs the public's support and understanding to continue to succeed. "The everyday public is not necessarily that forgiving," Roberts said. "So you end up paying some of the same price after you have paid your dues once you get out." Feaster said, "Stay positive if you want to change your life, because there's always a better way to change your life and a better way of living." He fears he would be back on drugs, or even dead, if it weren't for LINC -- and hopes people are encouraged by his story. "If you could only see me on the streets and the way I was living, taking people's stuff and whatnot, you would say if I could change, they could change," Feaster said. LINC only has beds for men right now, but hopes to open a new 40 bed facility in the spring for men and women. The Good Shepherd Center in Wilmington helps out men and women.
LINC, Inc. 762-4635 Good Shepherd Center 763-4424