Christopher “Chris” Mitchell was born in Columbus. In the seventh grade, he moved to Florida with his mom to stay with his grandmother. At age 17, he returned to Columbus and entered the Job Corps to start working toward a career.
During his twenties, Chris held different jobs, including working on houses, demolitions, and security. He was experiencing mental health challenges and was hospitalized many times. He was also frequently in and out of jail.
Chris looks back at this time as a low point and felt that he “ran into a brick wall.”
Under the leadership of Judge Cindi Morehart, the program is for defendants facing a charge and living with serious mental health issues. LINC is a diverse group consisting of a presiding judge, defense and prosecuting attorneys, clinicians, probation officers, and community treatment providers.
Chris connected with North Central Mental Health and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) Jobs for Recovery through LINC. He began to work with Lindsay Thomas, OOD Jobs for Recovery Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, to explore his strengths, abilities, and interests in selecting a job goal.
Chris is now working at a warehouse with metal parts. He likes the pace of the work and that the job is close to his home. In the future, he hopes to complete his probation, buy a car, complete his education, and live on his own.
“It has been great to see the improvements Chris has made with all his hard work,” said Judge Morehart. “I look forward to seeing further growth in this job and in his life.”
“Many OOD Staff came together to help Chris quickly connect to a brand-new Employer Partner,” Lindsay explained. “Over the phone, Chris’ voice was so uplifting when he told me he got the job that I could tell he was smiling from ear to ear. It reminded me why I do this job and that we really do make a difference to our individuals.”
“I kept pushing,” Chris said. “I never gave up.”