Truly Reaching You’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

20 Years of Reentry that Works
Join us for a celebratory event!


Live Music by Theron Brown

Drinks and Hors d’oeuvres

Live Auction

Real Reentry Stories


Complimentary Valet Parking


Thursday, October 24, 2019 | 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The Trailhead at Cascade Lofts, Akron | 21 West North Street Akron, Ohio 44304

$100 Admission | RSVP by October 11

Space is limited

Sponsorship opportunities listed below


If you are interested in an In-Kind Sponsorship opportunity, please contact as at

Perry’s Story

My Story
By Perry Clark, Founder and President of Truly Reaching You



My 5 children visited me on the inside

I spent ten years of my life (from 1987 to 1997) “on the inside,” for mistakes I made as a young man. During this period of deep self-reflection, I developed a greater appreciation for freedom and the truly important things in life. Guided by a strong sense of faith and self-discipline, I made a commitment to become a better son to my mother, a better brother to my siblings, a better father to my children and a good neighbor to the people in my community.

During my time “on the inside,” I was also greatly impacted by the opportunity to lead a team of men in a vocational training program. Over the course of three years, our team rehabilitated 11 homes as part of a community service project in the Mansfield area. This program gave me the opportunity to build a foundation of skills and leadership that has guided my work for years.


Following my release, I was driven by a strong work ethic, instilled in me by my father at a young age, and a profound sense of gratitude for the second chance I had been given. I felt compelled to make a commitment to help others who I understood where they were at in their addictive lives. I observed through my experiences that others with similar experiences did not have the attitudes, skills, and support needed to break free from the cycle of incarceration. I recognized that men struggling to reenter the community need several things to make a positive change: basic survival resources (food/housing/clothing); a safe and healthy environment, including addiction treatment; essential life skills; and employment training.

Understanding firsthand the confusion associated with addiction and incarceration, and that most men reenter the community penniless, hopeless and alone, I began providing formerly incarcerated men with these basic needs, while requiring them to put in the effort to develop patience, work ethic and a sense of purpose. I call this “giving a hand up, not a hand out.”  I strive to teach characteristics of faithfulness and teachability. For me, to be faithful is to be trustworthy, whether or not anyone is watching. The men I work with are encouraged to be “faithful” with small things at first so that they can grow to become more trustworthy with increasingly important responsibilities. Teachability is a willingness to listen to constructive feedback and apply it to make positive changes in behavior. I believe that my work (both personal and with others) toward these characteristics has helped the organization that I lead grow to what it is today.

Intern Interview – Austin & Mari

This summer, we had the opportunity to have two interns, Austin and Mari, work closely with us. It’s only been a week since they went back to school and we already miss having them around. Before they left, we asked if they would answer a few questions for the blog to share about their experience working at TRY.

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SOLD! 598 Stetler Ave

BEFORE (Google Street View from July 2011)


See the realtor’s listing here:

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Beardsley & Burgers!

You’re Invited!
Thursday, August 15, 3-6 pm

Join our staff and participants for a summertime TRY tour, at two locations – and be sure to save a few minutes for some BBQ fare! We are celebrating the completion of our newest transitional home at 880 Beardsley St. (#8!). Renovated by men in our program, for men in our program.

880 Beardsley

We are also looking forward to sharing our progress on our Employment Training Hub and Warehouse. This new space will provide operational efficiency and improvement of the neighborhood by putting an empty building back to work.

180 E South St

Start your TRY open house exploration at one site or the other – or just pick one! TRY representatives will be on hand to greet you at both locations.

Contributions from partners and generous TRY donors made both of these rehab projects possible.




House Blessing at 880 Beardsley Street at 3pm

BBQ social and tours at 180 E. South Street, 3-6pm

RSVP or Questions:

To see photos of renovation progress at 180 E South St click here
To see the finished product at 880 Beardsley, come take a tour on August 15th!

All new siding, doors, windows, and roof

The interior of 880 Beardsley was completely gutted


A New Season, a New Board Chair

As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we look forward to a new season of growth and change. Last month, Chuck Rankin stepped down from his position as Board Chair after ten years of dedicated service. Jerry Fiume, Vice Chair since 2015, has taken on the role and responsibility of leading TRY’s Board of Directors.

Jerry is the Managing Director of SVN Summit Commercial Real Estate Group, LLC and an active member of the Akron community. You may recognize his name from the blue and orange signs all over the county. We asked him a few questions to share with you his passion for TRY’s mission.

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Raise the Roof: Phase 1 Update

Our Raise the Roof project is the renovation of a 12,800-square-foot commercial warehouse located at 180 E. South St. in Akron. To learn more about this project and its importance, click here.

Exciting progress is being made on the warehouse!

Along with our booming lawn care service, we continue to make progress on the warehouse.Read More

Larry: from Train Wreck to Blessed

Randy and Larry in late 2010

“Living in my truck. Failed at everything I tried to do in life. Failed as a father, brother, son, employee, and friend. An alcoholic searching for a better life but didn’t know what direction to go. The TRY program got me in the best shape ever mentally, physically, and spiritually. Looking back, any rough times in the program were because I made it rough not the program. I volunteer as much as I can, other things prevent full time employment. I own half a house and rent out rooms to others in recovery (Using some of the rules from the program). Relationships with family and friends are better now than ever before.”

Before TRY, I was a Train wreck
In TRY, I was Transforming
Now, I am Blessed

Larry once lived the “rock-n-roll” lifestyle, playing music in bars, getting drunk, and causing trouble. He is one of those guys with stories from the 80’s and 90’s that makes you wonder how he is still alive. The common denominator in the stories: alcohol. What seemed like an exciting way to live made Larry homeless, alone, and crippled by addiction.

His time at TRY was rocky. Larry couldn’t quite ‘get it’. But staff never gave up on him, even after Larry left the program. Randy or Steve would pick him up for church and speak the truths of hope and renewal. Not only did Larry finally have his ‘aha!’ moment and gain a new understanding of what TRY did for him, he also has turned his own home into a recovery house for others! His musical talent, which was instrumental in his destructive lifestyle, is now used for good as he plays with the worship band at his church.

Finding Hope with Help

When you feel powerless, hopeless, helpless, and alone . . .
TRY is here to help you find solutions with God.

This phrase is printed on the back of t-shirts all participants and training staff are given to wear while working. But it’s not just a phrase, the stories shared by former participants perfectly illustrate how there is always hope, even when all seems lost.

When you feel powerless, hopeless, helpless, and alone . . .

Larry: “Failed as a father, brother, son, employee, and friend. An alcoholic searching for a better life but didn’t know what direction to go.”

Rick: “Before going into treatment I was lost. I was so deep into my addiction that I had no hope.”

Jim: “I found myself behind bars. That being said, my future was bleak at best.”

Randy: “I had destroyed any relationships that had any meaning. I was trapped in a vicious cycle of drug & alcohol addiction, spiraling out of control.”

TRY is here to help you find solutions with God.

Larry: “Relationships with family and friends are better now than ever before.” He is now a homeowner who rents rooms to others in recovery and plays guitar in the worship band at church.

Rick: “From the first day I entered TRY I had a sense of hope that I hadn’t had before.” He has made helping other men find hope his career as TRY’s Recovery Manager.

Jim: “Through TRY I met business contacts which brought me to the job I still have, which is a department lead working with government I.T. equ.” He is also on the leadership team at his church.

Randy: “Many of the relationships that had been destroyed due to my confusion have been restored, or are being restored.” He now helps other men break the cycle of addiction as a manager of TRY’s Employment Skills Training program.

Stories like these keep us going, because they show that TRY works!

Questions? Something you want to know more about? Let us know!

Our new clothing closet!

Most men who come to TRY have only the clothes on their back or just one bag of personal possessions. As a part of providing all their basic needs, we make sure the men have the shoes and clothing for work, classes, church, and job interviews. (To learn more about why TRY supplying basic needs is important, check out this previous post)

While we dreamed of a fully stocked and organized clothing closet, our current office doesn’t have the space. So, a shopping trip to Walmart consumed a couple hours of staff time with each intake. Our new warehouse and an influx of donated clothing meant it was time to make the dream of a clothing closet ‘store’ a reality. Only one thing stood in the way . . . sorting and organizing the ever growing mound of donations.

Thanks to United Way of Summit County’s Day of Action and the incredible volunteers from Summit County Probate Court the job is DONE!

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