by Matthew Poh on March 12, 2022

| A Social Enterprise | The Caffeine Experience

(For Ex-Offenders)

TCE is a home for ex-offenders. A home where we are accepted despite
our past. We are loved for who we are. TCE is not a cafe location but a
spirit of acceptance.
We are imperfect beings. We are the fallen ones. We made the mistakes
and we paid the hefty price known to all (Prison Sentence). Ex-offenders
have a hard time restarting. Like most people, we try making efforts to
reboot. Yet the society, knowing our background, subconsciously creates
a second prison, not intentionally but one created out of fear of the
We put our best foot forward even though it may not be the society’s
best, but at least we try. Unfortunately and not of anyone’s fault, fearing
our past, the public inevitably behave in a way that causes us to self
doubt and mentally lock ourselves up in a virtual prison.
At the end, due to many unforeseen misunderstandings, we resign from
the post as if fate had decided our entire future. Some, make efforts to
try again and some return to their past habits of failure. Thus the unspoken
massacre of the hopeful, known as the second prison.
I understand this complexity of wanting to start again but also concurrently
experiencing the fear of reality. We have to be brave to climb the
hill of misunderstandings, sometimes from our own faults but sometimes
from no fault of ours. The ominous path facing us is filled with
obstacles and I clearly understand this because I am one of them.
I am an ex-offender and my name is Matthew Poh.