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Former Day Reporting Center client gets fresh start

Stacy Spoonhour reflects on breakthrough in her second chance

April 06, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

Editor's note: This is another in an occasional series of stories about the Franklin County Day Reporting Center and those to whom it offers a second chance.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- For Stacy Spoonhour, spring is a time for renewal.

Spoonhour found a job, an apartment and God in a matter of just a few weeks, after months of searching for the first two and thinking about the third.

"Obviously, God had a plan for me," she said last week.

Spoonhour, 29, was downright giddy as she talked about the changes in her life. It took seven months after her release from jail for what Spoonhour viewed as a breakthrough in her second chance.

The transformation started with a sign seeking part-time help for a Chambersburg grocery store. She's not entirely sure what made a difference with this application, compared to the dozens of others elsewhere, but a store official hired Spoonhour and gave her the uniform shirt.

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She bagged groceries for four hours on her first shift on March 18.

"I would've cleaned bathrooms for the entire four hours. I was just happy to have a job," Spoonhour said on the phone after that first day at work.

On subsequent workdays, she observed other cashiers to learn the computer system. Her first paycheck was about $50, and one-fifth of it would be dedicated to court-ordered restitution, but Spoonhour was still greatly looking forward to it.

"I give grocery cashiers a lot of credit. There's a lot they have to know," Spoonhour said.

Various public assistance programs helped Spoonhour obtain the security deposit needed for her downtown apartment. She received the keys for that first-floor, two-bedroom apartment last Thursday.

"I can look out my bedroom window and see the courthouse. It's a constant reminder," said Spoonhour, who says she sold cocaine to make easy money.

Spoonhour, who had been living in a motel, borrowed a table that ended up lopsided upon re-installation. She chose to laugh about the table while preparing Easter dinner at the apartment for herself, her mother, her cousin, her two children and her cousin's children.

Many of Spoonhour's belongings were damaged in storage during her stint in jail last summer. She recovered a bunk bed for her daughter and son.

"I'm not complaining," Spoonhour said. "I'll sleep on the floor."

Spoonhour said she suspects God saw how patient she was being, although she admits to questioning him often. Watching a young man survive a fight helped Spoonhour believe in God.

She continues to take relapse prevention classes at the Franklin County (Pa.) Day Reporting Center, where she enrolled in programs in exchange for early release from jail. A recent workbook exercise prompted Spoonhour to identify relapse triggers.

"Everything I've been through since I got out of jail has made me stronger," she said.

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