Life After Prison: Giving Back

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Lorenzo Brooks, right, and his classmate, Barbara Price, compare notes as they work on a group project at the Resource Training Center in New York. (Photo by Alice Popovici)

Amid the chaos of a New York City homeless shelter, serenity smells like sweet, mellow strawberries.

That’s how Lorenzo Brooks, a 60-year-old graveyard shift employee at a men’s shelter on West 168th Street, described the calming sensation he felt when he picked up a coworker’s incense oil and took a whiff. He said he liked the “smooth and relaxing” scent so much he bought a small bottle he carries everywhere.

A few weeks later, Lorenzo . . .

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