Member Of Inmate Construction Program Finds Opportunity, Acceptance In Beatrice
BEATRICE – When ground broke on March 28th at 1923 Ella Street Inmate 82087 Joshua Noble asked the public not to judge he and his fellow inmates for what they had done previously, but what they set out to do.
“Just because some people might be incarcerated, it doesn’t make us bad people. We have made poor choices, if we can learn to turn that around and make better choices for ourselves and really try to give back to the community. Which I believe this program is a lot about, giving back and showing that we want…we really want to do better.”
As of Friday Noble is no longer an inmate in Nebraska, released back into society after serving his prison sentence. Fellow inmates, and members of the Prairie Gold Homes construction team remember him as a hard worker.
“Very quick learner, he jumped on to a lot of the stuff really quick and was really eager to learn. He helped out on a lot of stuff, he got a lot of experience really quick.”
“I really saw him grow a lot in the twelve weeks we’ve been doing this.”
As for Noble’s hopes to not be judged, they didn’t come true right away but after a while the neighborhood came around.
“It seems like they love us. We’ve helped out, we’ve mowed a few lawns, helped with some gutters, some landscaping. I think we’ve gotten donuts from just about everybody on the block. One day we had four different batches of donuts show up from the neighbors. We joke around with the neighbor Bob all the time, send him some extra food if we have some. Some cake, or pie, or brownies. He always comes out and talks to us. Neighbors are always stopping by and coming to talk to us.Let us know that they feel alright about it now.”
Upon release Noble moved to Omaha, and will be looking to get back on his feet as a productive member of society. His twelve weeks of experience along with strong support from Construction Instructor Bruce Harder will look good on a resume.
Webster says there was something missing from the first day of work without Noble around.
“I didn’t have anybody to yell at today. He wasn’t here, I didn’t have anybody to yell at.”
Sullivan says Noble will be missed.
“We appreciate his help, and we were glad to have him in the class. We’re going to definitely miss him on the next class.”
Only time will tell the impact of Noble’s experience at 1923 Ella. He arrived requesting nothing but acceptance and understanding, and left as the member of a team and a part of a neighborhood.