Washington, D.C. (CNN) It’s an annual rite of passage for the first-time homeowner, who is encouraged to re-enter their old home after being locked out of their property for a year.
Some cities have laws in place that allow for the release of first-timers back into the community.
In those cases, however, first-responders are expected to be trained in how to help and assist the resident after their release.
For the first time, CNN looks at the first year of second chances in a city.
What happens next?
As part of CNN’s investigation, CNN asked residents what they thought about second chances and what they want to see happening in their community.
We also spoke with the community members to learn more about their experiences.
This is what they said.
The story of a first-timer who had a second chance of a lifetime.
I have always been in trouble and I had no idea what was going on.
I was just in a bad place.
I had been living on the streets for a few years.
When I got out I was pretty much homeless.
So, my name is Joanna, and I am a woman.
I lived in a homeless shelter for two years.
My boyfriend was living in my home, and we were getting along fine.
We were just trying to get by.
Then we got arrested for a lot of stuff, so I went to the police and said, “I can’t do this anymore.”
They were just like, “You can’t.”
I said, “Well, I guess that means I can.”
It’s been two years now and I’m a mom of two and my husband is a firefighter.
We have a new job.
It’s not a good one.
I’ve never been on a crew before.
I don’t think I will ever work on a team again.
I’m just living off the government handouts that we receive.
I think it’s really unfair that I’m going to be locked out for two more years because I had a bad experience.
But I can’t wait to go back home and start living again.
If I were to have another bad experience with my landlords, I would never let them down.
They’ve been a great landlord.
They helped me get my house cleaned, they put me up in a nice apartment, and they were the ones that helped me pay my rent.
So I’m really looking forward to that.
I want to stay in my old place and have my children there.
I just want to do what I used to do when I was young.
There’s been a lot to be thankful for.
I have my husband, and my kids are doing well.
When I was younger, I was in a lot more trouble, but I learned how to be a better person.
Now I’m on the road a lot, so there’s not as much to be grateful for.
My son is doing fine.
He’s still very young, but he’s learning.
It’s just been a long road.
I know there are so many things going on in the world that I can never change.
I am grateful for all the good that’s going on and the good people that are doing the good things.
I am not going to change.
But what I can do is try to help other people who are in a similar situation.
That’s what I’m hoping to do.
For me, it was really a blessing in disguise.
I could have just gotten locked out.
It would have been really difficult for me.
I thought, I’m going through a lot right now, and you know, you’ve just got to take a step back and try to be patient.
I can learn from it.
It was like a second opportunity.
It made me want to go out there and help people.
I wish I had had it a year earlier.
But I’m very thankful for everything that has happened to me, and what my husband and I have done.