INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man from the far east side is using his criminal background to help others not make the same mistakes he did.
He wants to provide new resources to keep people out of prison and help those recently released.
Montana Fitzpatrick officially started his program “Fresh Start Resource Indy” last Sunday but he was already helping people before then.
After spending about 15 years in and out of prison, Montana Fitzpatrick says he decided to make a change once he noticed he was missing out on his son’s life.
Now he’s trying to bring immediate help to the far east side, an area that he says was previously neglected.
“The reason why I was that [way] during that stretch was because I was dealing drugs, being raised in a single-parent home, got tired of my mother doing it by herself,” said Fitzpatrick, the CEO & founder of Fresh Start Resource Indy.
He says this was a cycle that impacted many in the community, which is why he wanted to help.
“Dealing with gun violence, being traumatized from those who have been murdered in their own communities. I just took a leap of faith and created my own journey with starting this business just for that particular reason,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fresh Start Resource Indy helps people while they are still inside, and those recently released from prison with housing, finding jobs, renewing their licenses, and other things they may need.
“My resources are hands-on right, then, and there. It’s not a waiting list. I’m not just helping you, but I am also helping your child too because we have programs for youth.”
“I feel good because even if I gather five people together and only one gets the information and be successful, I’ve done my part,” said Fitzpatrick.
Others in the community say his resources are much needed.
“There are too many of our youth dying, man! I’ve been to prison, and I got out and had to struggle. I have no place to come to like this, if I did, then I wouldn’t have gone back to a prison a couple of times,” said Jayson Owens who grew up with Montana.
Owens is also a gun-violence survivor himself. He was injured in a New Year’s Eve shooting in 2021.
Owens says these services are important for changing the dynamic on the far east side.
“If you save one child, then you did a lot just saving one person, but his goal is bigger than that, it’s way bigger than that.”
Montana also does youth mentorship and has a youth summer program he’s running.
He also serves as a life coach for Marion County’s Office of Public Health and Safety to help people.
For more details on that or any of the other resources he has you can visit his website.