Vernon Parish inmates helping their community with “People Helping People”

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 5:51 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Two Vernon Parish inmates are making the rounds and reaching out to those who could benefit from hearing about lessons they have learned.

“It just lets me know that it’s not about what you did but where you want to go,” said inmate Ty Gomez.

Anthony Burns and Ty Gomez are giving back through a program called “People Helping People” Community Outreach Program at the sheriff’s office. They hope they are remembered for more than just their criminal records.

“We’re just normal people helping people, showing compassion, letting people know they aren’t alone in their battles with addiction. Whether it be mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism, or whatever it is. We just want you to know you are not alone, there’s people that care about you, just come and share your problems. We’re here to help,” said inmate Anthony Burns.

Specially selected inmates are able to go out into the community and share their stories and hopefully connect with someone who needs to hear it. The program was created by the inmates themselves, along with narcotics agents who couldn’t be on camera due to undercover work.

“We’re available, we’ll come to civic organizations, to churches, to youth groups, one on one, if it’s just a small number of people, we’re certainly willing to come and do the presentation, answer questions, and try to be there for the community,” Sheriff Sam Craft said.

The inmates share their stories voluntarily. There are no benefits for them other than helping someone.

If your group would like to hear these stories you can contact the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office at 337-238-1311.

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