Aunt Bobbi’s Story
Aunt Bobbi’s house is designed to be a residential assisted living facility for recent male exonerees. This safe haven is intended to foster independence by providing a temporary home where each resident will have responsibilities such as daily/weekly chores, an obligation to pay rent and access to employment that will provide an income sufficient to pay rent and live in the house. In addition, Innocence Maintained is planning to create a work-out area and skills-based training space in Aunt Bobbi’s house. Planned trainings include computer and mobile device training, financial literacy (online bill pay, open bank account, establish credit), social media overview, how to use MS Office software, on the job training in construction, landscaping, retail sales, restaurant work, and more.
The home has 3 bedrooms. Thanks to the Here to Help Foundation, each room is furnished including a bed, linens, and a mini fridge. The kitchen, backyard and living room are communal spaces and will be shared by those staying at Aunt Bobbi’s. A washer and dryer is in the home for all residents to use.
For information or to apply for residency, click here.
Barbara Barksdale, “Aunt Bobbi,” was Aaron’s grandmother. She was an inspiration to Aaron over the years and while he was incarcerated, she helped him fight for his freedom. Of course, she visited him regularly and always had sage advice. On one visit, she taught him the lesson of becoming better and not bitter. She reminded Aaron that bitterness only affects you, and it does not affect the other person, so when you hold a grudge, you’re the one suffering. When you choose to forgive a person it’s not for them, it’s for you! Forgiveness comes from the inside out – Aaron took this lesson to heart and applied it to his wrongful conviction.
Often, those forced to spend years wrongfully imprisoned come out consumed by bitterness. Another lesson from Aaron’s grandmother included being there for the downtrodden and mistreated. This inspired Aaron to utilize resources to feed, clothe, and house others who were wronged while they get back on their feet, much like his grandmother did for others who needed a helping hand.
This wise woman has been Aaron’s inspiration, and as a result, he chose to name the house after her; Aunt Bobbi’s House will be a beacon of strength, love and hope for others.