After 24 years in prison, Micah Schwerdtfeger emerged into a different world. Released through an excessive sentence initiative at 77 years old, Micah was faced with the daunting task of rebuilding her life from scratch. With no money or connections Micah needed help.
“When you get out of prison, you’re alone,” Micah said. “No one wants you, no one needs you, but you’re still a person and you need help. You can’t get a job, because your background check says you were in prison. You can’t get a place to sleep, because your background check says you were in prison. It can be really scary.”
A California native, a veteran, and now today a proud Pittsburg resident, Micah was adamant that she would make it outside of prison. She found a housing program while she tried to figure out her next move.
“I heard about St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County and their Workforce Development Program, a job-training program for people facing barriers to employment, and that turned out to be a real ray of light in the darkness,” Micah said. “I signed up for the program and they were wonderful. They helped me make
connections I needed, and helped me develop a plan to move forward.”
Micah is working toward earning her certificate to become a counselor, to help people like her. Micah was approved for a Veteran’s Assistance Home Loan and is working on finding a home.
“SVdP made getting my VA loan possible,” Micah said. “I can’t express how grateful I am.”