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Life after a Felony With: Johnnie Tatum & Second Chance Consulting and Outreach

HOUSTON – Johnnie Tatum hails from Dallas but was reared in the Acres Homes’ community, by his mother. He attended MacArthur High School. During his youth he became a victim to some of the perils associated with his environment. From this experience, he was labeled a convicted felon. While Tatum initially appeared to be just another statistic, he was determined and motivated to persevere through the negative hype. As a result, he has completely transformed his prior blemish into a platform of educating, encouraging and motivating members from his community. His actions are evident through his organization, Second Chance Consulting and Outreach. Background Insight on Founder, Johnnie Tatum: As a writer, I have chosen to omit certain elements of Mr. Tatum’s story; at an attempt to provide our readers with the most vital concept that lies behind the implementation of Second Chance. It behooves our readers to take note and understand that regardless of where a person has been or what they have done; there is always life after a felony… African-American News & Issues has afforded me the opportunity to present the stories of scores of successful African-American greats from our communities. In doing so, I have found that everyone’s story is inspired by some person or some people. During our interview, Mr. Tatum revealed that he was no different. Unlike many others, Tatum was motivated by “naysayers” and those that vowed he would never amount to anything in life. Where it all started: According to Johnnie Tatum “I remember it like it was yesterday. Some time after I was released, I was in Utah working construction. I was down in the trenches and I remember this White guy was on a tractor up high… And when he rolled over me… I was like… ‘Lord have mercy! I’m doing exactly what they said I would do!’ I remember as a kid how they would all say… ‘You this and you that and you will end up digging ditches.’ I left that job that day and enrolled back in school.” From that moment on, the rest is Second Chance Consulting and Outreach history. After Tatum made up his mind to enroll in school, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Advanced Radiological Science with a minor in MRI from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He later continued his education at the University of Phoenix where he attained a Masters’ degree in Business Administration. Simultaneously, he pursued a professional career in the healthcare industry. He contributed a sum of 18 years in the field, having worked in leadership for 13 of them. Throughout the course of the last six years, he served as Director of Radiology. Upon making the decision to turn his stumbling-blocks into stepping-stones, Tatum was inspired to establish Second Chance Consulting and Outreach. In his own way of giving back to his beloved Acres Home community, he is determined to educate members from within. During our interview, Tatum said, “So many of us have potential, but were not given the opportunity to maximize it because we didn’t have the right guidance or proper education to help prepare us for society.” “Unfortunately a lot of my peers have passed away, are imprisoned, plagued with alcohol and drug problems amongst other things; but I believe I have a duty to help reach those that I can, through Second Chance,” he added. Life at Second Chance Consulting and Outreach: Second Chance Consulting and Outreach was established on June 25, 2010. Since that time, the facility has serviced over 3,000 clients on their road to recovery. The outreach partners with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), METRO, Goodwill and most recently, the Acres Home Chamber for Business & Economic Development. Services offered by the agency include: LLC Alcohol and Drug evaluation, anger management education, anti-theft, B.I.P.P. Battering Intervention Prevention Program (Domestic Violence), individual counseling, parenting classes, intensive outpatient program, supportive outpatient program, Texas Drug Offender Education Program (TDOEP), DWI 32-Hour Repeat Offenders Program, First time DWI Program, urinalysis, and group sessions, just to list a few. Participants receive personal effective education courses from licensed counselors who provide resources and techniques to help manage life’s challenges. Furthermore, clients of Second Chance have provided positive feedback suggesting that they enjoy being a part of the program. Many attribute the success of the outreach to the counselors, who are genuine and deliver real-life classes, involving real-life situations catered to their needs. The counselors at Second Chance understand their clients because they were once in similar predicaments, and can relate to them. Currently, Second Chance provides school supplies to local students. In past their have provided dinners for senior citizens within the community. Tentatively, the outreach is working to incorporate a food bank, assistance with SNAP benefits and medical assistance for clients at the location. Tatum expressed that he and his staff strive to show respect to all clients regardless of their situations. He said, “While working in class, I choose to focus on the whole person, I believe that listening skills and truly understanding who you are, is key. If you don’t know who you are, then it’s really hard to build a strong foundation and family.” He continued, “I have to talk to our clients about overcoming abuse because many people do not realize they have been abused. Abuse comes in all types of forms not just physical… When people constantly tell you, ‘you are going to jail, an early graveyard or you will never be nothing,’ that’s abuse! And after a while your actions show that you believe what they say.” “So overcoming these things are vital and we aim to offer a support system to assist our clients with this,” he added. The Resurrection of Rest Lawn Cemetery: In addition to mentoring and uplifting residents at Second Chance, Tatum has set out on a mission to restore the historical Rest Lawn Cemetery. Some years ago, the final resting place was nearly destroyed in a torrential flood. As a result, headstones were dismantled and sinkholes were found throughout. For nearly five years, Tatum and other members from the community have not ceased from preserving the landscape and sanctity of the 18th century graveyard. So far, they have cleared the lot, secured a fence, replaced and restored many fallen headstones and turned the site into a historical landmark. Although it has been a challenge, Tatum and others remain committed to the task. Recently, Mayor Sylvester Turner blessed the cemetery with community service partners to assist in their efforts. Consequently, there are attendees present at the site seven days a week. With the project nearing its completion, a Rededication Ceremony for family members to attend will be hosted. A pictorial map has been created so that family members will be able to locate the designated place of their loved ones. When asked, Tatum said that he was inspired by a quote from a book. It read, “Show me your graveyard and I can tell you about your people.” He says, “I took that personally because I’m from Acres Home, and when a lot of people hear Acres Home they associate it with negativity. But I want people to know that there are a lot of good people from there.” Rest Lawn Cemetery is located at 7000 Wheatley Road, 77088. The contact number is (713) 448-6963. To contribute to the maintaining of the property, visit https://www.gofundme.com/historical-texas-cemetery-markerSecond Chance Outreach, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, has taken on the task of preserving the Rest Lawn Cemetery in Houston, TX. This historical cemetery was flooded and almost completely washed out during a recent torrential flood. As we progress towards rebuilding the cemetery, relocating and replacing headstones, filling in sinkholes and maintaining the landscape we need funds for a historical marker. Rest Lawn has a Historic Texas Cemetery Designation. Second Chance and others in the community are determined to prevent Rest Lawn Cemetery from being further neglected and endangered. The ongoing preservation is nearing completion. Almost lost in the near destruction of Rest Lawn were historical graves dating back to the 18th century. We are relying on community volunteers to help preserve Rest Lawn Cemetery. Second Chance has utilized all of its resources in this endeavor. We need your help! Please help us to present a historical marker identifying this great Houston treasure we call Rest Lawn Cemetery. Second Chance Outreach, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, has taken on the task of preserving the Rest Lawn Cemetery in Houston, TX. This historical cemetery was flooded and almost completely washed out during a recent torrential flood. As we progress towards rebuilding the cemetery, relocating and replacing headstones, filling in sinkholes and maintaining the landscape we need funds for a historical marker. Rest Lawn has a Historic Texas Cemetery Designation. Second Chance and others in the community are determined to prevent Rest Lawn Cemetery from being further neglected and endangered. The ongoing preservation is nearing completion. Almost lost in the near destruction of Rest Lawn were historical graves dating back to the 18th century. We are relying on community volunteers to help preserve Rest Lawn Cemetery. Second Chance has utilized all of its resources in this endeavor. We need your help! Please help us to present a historical marker identifying this great Houston treasure we call Rest Lawn Cemetery. Second Chance Outreach, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, has taken on the task of preserving the Rest Lawn Cemetery in Houston, TX. This historical cemetery was flooded and almost completely washed out during a recent torrential flood. As we progress towards rebuilding the cemetery, relocating and replacing headstones, filling in sinkholes and maintaining the landscape we need funds for a historical marker. Rest Lawn has a Historic Texas Cemetery Designation. Second Chance and others in the community are determined to prevent Rest Lawn Cemetery from being further neglected and endangered. The ongoing preservation is nearing completion. Almost lost in the near destruction of Rest Lawn were historical graves dating back to the 18th century. We are relying on community volunteers to help preserve Rest Lawn Cemetery. Second Chance has utilized all of its resources in this endeavor. We need your help!. Advice to the African-American Community: When asked of any advice that he would like to share with members of our community, Tatum revealed the following. “I made a lot of bad choices as a young man and now that I’m 50 years-old, I have a lot of regret. Things that I have done 30 years ago still affect me today. They also affect my loving wife of 16 years, Sharon and my daughter 13 year-old daughter of whom I’m very grateful for. They were not in my life back then but my decisions then still affect us. So I encourage people to understand that once you make that choice it’s going to be difficult to find the job that you want and be able to make the salary that you desire. I was blessed to be able to get to the director level, but they put so much pressure on me in doing so. So that’s what really drives me at Second Chance. I tell them all the time… ‘Guys, don’t let your kids slip through the cracks.’ We have to start training our children early. Because I realize now that a lot of our people have the ability but they lack the right support and exposure. I earned my degrees after prison and that let me know that I was always capable of doing it, just like most of our clients.” Second Chance Consulting and Outreach is also an approved CTI Site (Counselor Training Intern) for Counselor Interns Level I, II and III. Anyone in search of LCDC, internship hours, is encouraged to contact the facility. It is located at 7208 North Shepherd Drive, Suite 107, 77091. For more information or details regarding services contact (713) 623-1811; email jtsecondchance@gmail.com; or visit their website at http://www.secondchancereentry.com/index.html. Hours of operation for the organization are: Monday – Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm and Saturday – Sunday, 10:00am – 5pm.

HOUSTON – Johnnie Tatum hails from Dallas but was reared in the Acres Homes’ community, by his mother. He attended MacArthur High School. During his youth he became a victim to some of the perils associated with his environment. From this experience, he was labeled a convicted felon. While Tatum initially appeared to be just another statistic, he was determined and motivated to persevere through the negative hype. As a result, he has completely transformed his prior blemish into a platform of educating, encouraging and motivating members from his community. His actions are evident through his organization, Second Chance Consulting and Outreach.

Background Insight on Founder, Johnnie Tatum:

As a writer, I have chosen to omit certain elements of Mr. Tatum’s story; at an attempt to provide our readers with the most vital concept that lies behind the implementation of Second Chance. It behooves our readers to take note and understand that regardless of where a person has been or what they have done; there is always life after a felony… African-American News & Issues has afforded me the opportunity to present the stories of scores of successful African-American greats from our communities. In doing so, I have found that everyone’s story is inspired by some person or some people. During our interview, Mr. Tatum revealed that he was no different. Unlike many others, Tatum was motivated by “naysayers” and those that vowed he would never amount to anything in life.

Where it all started: According to Johnnie Tatum

“I remember it like it was yesterday. Some time after I was released, I was in Utah working construction. I was down in the trenches and I remember this White guy was on a tractor up high… And when he rolled over me… I was like… ‘Lord have mercy! I’m doing exactly what they said I would do!’ I remember as a kid how they would all say… ‘You this and you that and you will end up digging ditches.’ I left that job that day and enrolled back in school.”

From that moment on, the rest is Second Chance Consulting and Outreach history. After Tatum made up his mind to enroll in school, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Advanced Radiological Science with a minor in MRI from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He later continued his education at the University of Phoenix where he attained a Masters’ degree in Business Administration. Simultaneously, he pursued a professional career in the healthcare industry. He contributed a sum of 18 years in the field, having worked in leadership for 13 of them. Throughout the course of the last six years, he served as Director of Radiology.

Upon making the decision to turn his stumbling-blocks into stepping-stones, Tatum was inspired to establish Second Chance Consulting and Outreach. In his own way of giving back to his beloved Acres Home community, he is determined to educate members from within. During our interview, Tatum said, “So many of us have potential, but were not given the opportunity to maximize it because we didn’t have the right guidance or proper education to help prepare us for society.” “Unfortunately a lot of my peers have passed away, are imprisoned, plagued with alcohol and drug problems amongst other things; but I believe I have a duty to help reach those that I can, through Second Chance,” he added.

Life at Second Chance Consulting and Outreach:

Second Chance Consulting and Outreach was established on June 25, 2010. Since that time, the facility has serviced over 3,000 clients on their road to recovery. The outreach partners with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), METRO, Goodwill and most recently, the Acres Home Chamber for Business & Economic Development. Services offered by the agency include: LLC Alcohol and Drug evaluation, anger management education, anti-theft, B.I.P.P. Battering Intervention Prevention Program (Domestic Violence), individual counseling, parenting classes, intensive outpatient program, supportive outpatient program, Texas Drug Offender Education Program (TDOEP), DWI 32-Hour Repeat Offenders Program, First time DWI Program, urinalysis, and group sessions, just to list a few.

Participants receive personal effective education courses from licensed counselors who provide resources and techniques to help manage life’s challenges. Furthermore, clients of Second Chance have provided positive feedback suggesting that they enjoy being a part of the program. Many attribute the success of the outreach to the counselors, who are genuine and deliver real-life classes, involving real-life situations catered to their needs. The counselors at Second Chance understand their clients because they were once in similar predicaments, and can relate to them. Currently, Second Chance provides school supplies to local students. In past their have provided dinners for senior citizens within the community. Tentatively, the outreach is working to incorporate a food bank, assistance with SNAP benefits and medical assistance for clients at the location.

Tatum expressed that he and his staff strive to show respect to all clients regardless of their situations. He said, “While working in class, I choose to focus on the whole person, I believe that listening skills and truly understanding who you are, is key. If you don’t know who you are, then it’s really hard to build a strong foundation and family.” He continued, “I have to talk to our clients about overcoming abuse because many people do not realize they have been abused. Abuse comes in all types of forms not just physical… When people constantly tell you, ‘you are going to jail, an early graveyard or you will never be nothing,’ that’s abuse! And after a while your actions show that you believe what they say.” “So overcoming these things are vital and we aim to offer a support system to assist our clients with this,” he added.

The Resurrection of Rest Lawn Cemetery:

In addition to mentoring and uplifting residents at Second Chance, Tatum has set out on a mission to restore the historical Rest Lawn Cemetery. Some years ago, the final resting place was nearly destroyed in a torrential flood. As a result, headstones were dismantled and sinkholes were found throughout. For nearly five years, Tatum and other members from the community have not ceased from preserving the landscape and sanctity of the 18th century graveyard.

So far, they have cleared the lot, secured a fence, replaced and restored many fallen headstones and turned the site into a historical landmark. Although it has been a challenge, Tatum and others remain committed to the task. Recently, Mayor Sylvester Turner blessed the cemetery with community service partners to assist in their efforts. Consequently, there are attendees present at the site seven days a week. With the project nearing its completion, a Rededication Ceremony for family members to attend will be hosted. A pictorial map has been created so that family members will be able to locate the designated place of their loved ones.

When asked, Tatum said that he was inspired by a quote from a book. It read, “Show me your graveyard and I can tell you about your people.” He says, “I took that personally because I’m from Acres Home, and when a lot of people hear Acres Home they associate it with negativity. But I want people to know that there are a lot of good people from there.”

Rest Lawn Cemetery is located at 7000 Wheatley Road, 77088. The contact number is (713) 448-6963. To contribute to the maintaining of the property, visit https://www.gofundme.com/historical-texas-cemetery-markerSecond Chance Outreach, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, has taken on the task of preserving the Rest Lawn Cemetery in Houston, TX. This historical cemetery was flooded and almost completely washed out during a recent torrential flood. As we progress towards rebuilding the cemetery, relocating and replacing headstones, filling in sinkholes and maintaining the landscape we need funds for a historical marker. Rest Lawn has a Historic Texas Cemetery Designation. Second Chance and others in the community are determined to prevent Rest Lawn Cemetery from being further neglected and endangered. The ongoing preservation is nearing completion. Almost lost in the near destruction of Rest Lawn were historical graves dating back to the 18th century. We are relying on community volunteers to help preserve Rest Lawn Cemetery. Second Chance has utilized all of its resources in this endeavor. We need your help!

Please help us to present a historical marker identifying this great Houston treasure we call Rest Lawn Cemetery. Second Chance Outreach, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, has taken on the task of preserving the Rest Lawn Cemetery in Houston, TX. This historical cemetery was flooded and almost completely washed out during a recent torrential flood. As we progress towards rebuilding the cemetery, relocating and replacing headstones, filling in sinkholes and maintaining the landscape we need funds for a historical marker. Rest Lawn has a Historic Texas Cemetery Designation. Second Chance and others in the community are determined to prevent Rest Lawn Cemetery from being further neglected and endangered. The ongoing preservation is nearing completion. Almost lost in the near destruction of Rest Lawn were historical graves dating back to the 18th century. We are relying on community volunteers to help preserve Rest Lawn Cemetery. Second Chance has utilized all of its resources in this endeavor. We need your help!

Please help us to present a historical marker identifying this great Houston treasure we call Rest Lawn Cemetery. Second Chance Outreach, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, has taken on the task of preserving the Rest Lawn Cemetery in Houston, TX. This historical cemetery was flooded and almost completely washed out during a recent torrential flood. As we progress towards rebuilding the cemetery, relocating and replacing headstones, filling in sinkholes and maintaining the landscape we need funds for a historical marker. Rest Lawn has a Historic Texas Cemetery Designation. Second Chance and others in the community are determined to prevent Rest Lawn Cemetery from being further neglected and endangered. The ongoing preservation is nearing completion. Almost lost in the near destruction of Rest Lawn were historical graves dating back to the 18th century. We are relying on community volunteers to help preserve Rest Lawn Cemetery. Second Chance has utilized all of its resources in this endeavor. We need your help!.

Advice to the African-American Community:

When asked of any advice that he would like to share with members of our community, Tatum revealed the following. “I made a lot of bad choices as a young man and now that I’m 50 years-old, I have a lot of regret. Things that I have done 30 years ago still affect me today. They also affect my loving wife of 16 years, Sharon and my daughter 13 year-old daughter of whom I’m very grateful for. They were not in my life back then but my decisions then still affect us. So I encourage people to understand that once you make that choice it’s going to be difficult to find the job that you want and be able to make the salary that you desire. I was blessed to be able to get to the director level, but they put so much pressure on me in doing so. So that’s what really drives me at Second Chance. I tell them all the time… ‘Guys, don’t let your kids slip through the cracks.’ We have to start training our children early. Because I realize now that a lot of our people have the ability but they lack the right support and exposure. I earned my degrees after prison and that let me know that I was always capable of doing it, just like most of our clients.”

Second Chance Consulting and Outreach is also an approved CTI Site (Counselor Training Intern) for Counselor Interns Level I, II and III. Anyone in search of LCDC, internship hours, is encouraged to contact the facility. It is located at 7208 North Shepherd Drive, Suite 107, 77091. For more information or details regarding services contact (713) 623-1811; email jtsecondchance@gmail.com; or visit their website at http://www.secondchancereentry.com/index.html. Hours of operation for the organization are: Monday – Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm and Saturday – Sunday, 10:00am – 5pm.

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Life after a Felony With: Johnnie Tatum & Second Chance Consulting and Outreach