Last year when Tyler Jenk was looking for a roommate to share his house in Oakland, California, US, he met a man named Askari Johnson who was looking for a fresh start. Johnson has recently been released from San Quentin State Prison after more than 20 years. The pair ended up forming a symbiotic relationship as roommates, despite coming from different walks of life. The two men connected quickly over common experiences in the construction industry and their interests in cooking. “Tyler opened up his heart but more importantly he opened up his home to a stranger. And I think if more people had that ability just to expand their thinking, just to explore it, I think it would help society enormously,” Johnson said. The two connected through ‘The Homecoming Project’, which is a program to place formerly incarcerated people into homes that are potentially a better situation than halfway houses. Since it started in August 2022, 100% of The Homecoming Project’s more than 80 participants have successfully returned to their community and begun rebuilding their lives.

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