Ridge House

Theresa Kleven

Age 49, From Northern California

Theresa entered our program in September 2013, after spending 18 months in prison on a burglary charge.

Theresa had a lot of uncertainties about her recovery foundation right out of prison. Once she stepped out, she didn’t feel strong enough to do it on her own.

She spent seven months in residential housing and now lives on her own. She’s been working at Taco Bell for the last three months, a job Ridge House helped her get.

When she first got out of prison, she had some obstacles with finding employment due to her age and teeth.

“First impressions are a big deal,” Theresa said.

She had one woman at a job interview say that she can’t hire her because she doesn’t have any teeth.

While working at Taco Bell, Theresa has been updating her computer skills so that once she receives her dentures she can apply for jobs in the clerical field.

“One thing that was really integral to finally finding employment was the work force division of Ridge House. They never gave up on me,” Theresa said.

Her favorite parts of Ridge House are the relationships she’s built and the encouragement she’s received.

“My house manager, Jennifer Daane, was an absolute cheerleader for me the whole time I was in the house.”

Theresa said the task of getting back on your feet after prison is very overwhelming.

“You might not know what foot to place next. They [Ridge House] already have that down for you.”

“Each little step helps you build your confidence a little more,” Theresa said. “I thought, ‘Hey, I’m really doing this and it’s really working!’”

“I just want to give kudos to all of the support staff [at Ridge House]. Steve has taken this organization and provided such a safety net for offenders coming out of the penitentiary. If you want to change your life, this is the program to do it. You have all the resources at your fingertips,” Theresa concludes.