Young men say Seattle non-profit that aims to prevent youth incarceration helped transform their futures

Community Passageways is a non-profit organization based in South Seattle. Its goal is zero youth incarceration and provides support and resources to young adults who may have been exposed to violence and trauma.

Three weeks after a fatal shooting during an orientation meeting, Q13 News is hearing the stories of three young men who are now on a positive path following their involvement with Community Passageways.

Elijah Goode, 18, said there wasn’t much stability in his life until he found trust and guidance in Community Passageways.

"My dad passed away when I was twelve so that kind of threw me off," said Goode. "That’s what really set me off a little bit."

Goode said he experienced homelessness most of his life and he spent many days sleeping in cars and staying on people’s couches.

Now, Goode has found stable housing and feels like he’s in a much stronger place mentally and physically and said Community Passageways is no different than family.

"Where you feel free, you know, because sometimes when you’re going through PTSD and trauma and stuff you feel trapped, so it’s like hard to express and build when you feel like everything is falling down," said Goode.

Trimarco Green will turn 19 in May. He said the court labeled him as a "menace" when he was just 15-years-old. 

"Before my journey with Community Passageways, I was getting in trouble a lot. I was getting incarcerated at a young age, you know. It was like little stuff and then they came in when I got my serious charges and they helped me. They helped me realize what I wanted to do with my life. They helped me realize where I wanted to go," said Green.

Green is currently pursuing his GED and will be starting a job soon, but his long-term goal is to pour back into the community that invested in him by becoming an ambassador with Community Passageways.

"I want to help people you know, I’m really excited for that. I’ve already been kind of helping people and giving people knowledge," said Green.

Shon, 24, said he’ll never forget the care and support he received from the CEO when he first joined the program.

"If he cares about my potential, then I need to care about my potential way more," said Shon. "The way he really like just came in and cared about my whole situation as a whole and just not my court situation. My living situation, my working situation and things of that nature."

Shon has been part of Community Passageways since 2016 and said he is currently working on a business plan. His mentor from the program is supporting his entrepreneurial goals.

Seattle Police said investigators have not released any further details surrounding the fatal shooting at Emerald City Bible Fellowship on March 17. Police said the investigation is ongoing.

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