Hear From R About His Journey At Landforce
We don’t often tell the individual stories of our crew members, recognizing that those stories belong to them alone, and are not ours to tell. So the following comes with deep gratitude to “R” for his generosity and enthusiasm to share his journey with us. His words will give you the truest sense of who he is, how hard he has worked, and what Landforce strives to be for all of our crew members.
R grew up in a two-parent home in a city far from Pittsburgh. Despite this, he chose the street life and resorted to selling drugs, and ultimately was incarcerated for 12 and a half years for drug-related charges. When he went to jail, his only child, a daughter, was 10 months old. During that whole 12 and a half years, he was only able to see his daughter one time, when she was 7 years old. This was the thing that hurt him the most. When R was released from prison in 2019, his daughter was 13. She motivates him every day. “I have been trying to get my life back in order and working to be someone that my daughter knows. I am working on building a relationship with her.”
R came to Lndforce looking for a better opportunity for his life. He had his license, but no car. While here he set himself a goal to save enough money to get his own vehicle and to find a sustainable wage job. He admits that working for Landforce, he found so much more.
“The success that came out of Landforce was finding steady employment and feeling and thinking better about myself. Knowing that I can succeed as an ex-inmate. Coming home and applying myself and working is such a confidence booster. The knowledge that I have learned as well, learning about invasive species, how to build a trail, and even how to put up a deer fence. I didn’t even know they did projects like that. With this pandemic, Landforce adjusted to make sure that we got what we needed and still helped us be successful. The Zoom meetings happened, and Landforce gave us so many resources during this pandemic. A lot of other places shut down and Landforce kept business. The staff care so much for you, it’s a family thing. Landforce is forever and when people don’t even have a family to depend on, Landforce is that family even after you stop working there, they keep in touch. Landforce isn’t just a place that you just go to work for them and they give you a paycheck, they give you homework, make you read books, and encourage you to get a library card. People have to be ready for Landforce. You gotta be physically and mentally tough. It’s different. I never applied for a place like this before.”
R attributes two major successes to working with Landforce. Last November, R voted for the first time. Previously he was never interested in voting. He didn’t know much about the Democratic or Republican party, and had little interest in learning more. Because of a Landforce training in citizen rights and responsibilities, R’s interest was piqued, and he did research on his own and found out which candidate best aligned with his views, and brags about experiencing his “first” with Landforce. His next major success also came in November 2020 when he was hired by a large Landscaping company, a position that came with benefits. R has proven to be an exceptional employee, earned all available bonuses, and has been promoted to Foreman.
At Landforce, “I experienced taking on new challenges and having a different mission each and every day. The work itself was new. Every morning was a mission. Getting the itinerary, finding out the bus schedule, and making sure I was on time. This was a challenge because I am not from Pittsburgh, but this helped me learn about the city more. Landforce helps you in so many different ways. It’s not just about work. They expect so much from you, it’s the hard work, getting along with other people, and your life and well-being matter. Not too many jobs care whether you bring lunch or not, but Landforce wants you to pack, have plenty of fluids and wear the right clothes so that you can be the best. Landforce is about business as well as responsibility and being responsible. That’s the biggest one, being responsible.”
In December 2020, modelling his fiscal responsibility, and using savings from his Landforce pay, R met his other goal, and bought himself a car.
“Landforce has impacted my life for the better. I learned so much about who I am as a person as well, and the feeling I got from impacting other people’s lives. I didn’t know that clearing a path in the woods where I didn’t even think that people would even go, and then having someone come up to me and thank me for my work – at the end of the day being able to affect someone else, made me feel important. Before I became who I am today, I spent a lot of time tearing down people’s lives and affecting them in a negative way. It feels great to know that in 2021, I have impacted people’s lives in a positive way. It feels good to sleep at night knowing that I don’t have to worry about anything. It rehabilitates you, and I look at myself as having a brighter future at Landforce. I told people I really care about, about Landforce. Some people are going to gravitate towards success and some people aren’t. I want better, and I am getting it because of Landforce.”
We know that R’s success (including his new found relationship with his daughter) is down to his hard work and are grateful that R attributes some of his success to working with Landforce. R is a remarkable person, but his story is not unique. Every year at Landforce we meet people who need a platform like the one that Landforce provides — a place to learn new skills, take a deep breath, prove to yourself and the world that you can make it, and then launch to a brighter future.
We invite you to join us in providing the platform to this future and thank you for considering a donation to Landforce. Your generosity contributes towards a brighter future for everyone who comes through our doors.