CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Foutain Fund, an organization that helps get formerly incarcerated people back on their feet, had its first successful client since opening to fully pay off his loan.
Herbert Bowles is the assistant manager at Jiffy Lube, but he said without the Fountain Fund, he would not be where he is today.
"If you make a mistake and you become a felon, there are so many things that are stacked against you,” he said. “It's like starting all over again but having someone hold you back the entire time."
He said he could have easily fallen into a cycle that many other felons fall into.
"A lot of people aren't willing to make the commitment to fight as hard as you need to to get back on your feet so they end up back in the system,” said Bowles. “I kind of feel like that's how it's set up sometimes."
He said a friend of his told him about the Fountain Fund to help him pay off court dues and get his license back.
"Without them, it would have taken me a lot longer to get where I am right now," said Bowles.
The Fountain Fund established itself in Charlottesville in 2017. Carl Brown, the loan relations manager, said it works with clients to agree to affordable monthly payments. He actually gave Bowles a check back from the Fountain Fund for overpaying his loan.
"This is the icing on the cake in terms of where he was from where we started and now being able to pay that off and no longer having that debt for the court or the Fountain Fund,” said Brown. “So he's able to move on with his life and do the things he wants to do."
Bowles said he has big plans for what he wants to do now.
"So I love cars. I want to be a mechanic,” said Bowles. “Before I got into the trouble I got into, I was going to Blue Ridge Community College to become a master technician. So now this is helping me get back on track to do that and I'm happy."
The Fountain Fund serves felons throughout Central Virginia with more than 60 clients now, and it hopes to keep growing.