NEW HAVEN PRISON REENTRY INITIATIVE AWARDS SEVEN MINI-GRANTS TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS
(6/23/2010) NEW HAVEN- The City of New Haven’s Prison Reentry Initiative has awarded seven New Haven-based community organizations with Reentry Mini-Grants. The mini-grants are a part of the Prison Reentry Initiative’s Community Empowerment Project, funded through a two-year federal grant from the Department of Justice, and will be used to expand the services available to individuals reentering the New Haven community from incarceration.
The Community Empowerment Project’s objective is to enhance public safety and empower underserved neighborhoods by expanding community-based services that offer individuals returning from incarceration, as well as their families, the opportunity to enhance their own lives and the lives of their peers.
“In order to develop the targeted service areas, the Prison Reentry Initiative conducted research into reentry best practices and consulted with other community organizations through the New Haven Reentry Roundtable,” said Amy Meek, the City’s Prison Reentry Coordinator. “After several focus groups of ex-offenders in the New Haven area, we were able to identify areas of focus for the Community Empowerment Project: education, employment, family support, housing, mental health and addiction, and peer mentoring.”
Seven proposals from community organizations to expand reentry services in the focus areas were selected through a competitive process in consultation with community stakeholders from the New Haven Reentry Roundtable. Six organizations were awarded $5,000 mini-grants to expand programming in the target service areas, and one proposal was awarded $8,650 start-up funding for a new center devoted to providing wrap-around services to women returning from incarceration. The following organizations have been awarded and accepted Reentry Mini-Grants:
• Mother Hicks Center has been awarded an $8,650 start-up grant to develop an innovative and comprehensive wrap-around service approach for women returning to New Haven from incarceration;
• Easter Seals Goodwill Industries, Inc. has been awarded $5,000 to expand their Community Re-Entry Services Program by launching a therapeutic support group for youth offenders and enhancing job retention and aftercare employment services for adult ex-offenders;
• Emergency Shelter Management Services has been awarded $5,000 to increase job opportunities for ex-offenders residing in the emergency shelter by launching monthly job fairs to bring employers directly to the shelter;
• Evergreen Family Oriented Tree has been awarded $5,000 to develop a peer mentoring program and enhance capacity to provide basic needs, educational placements and employment opportunities to ex-offenders who reside in sober housing;
• Giving Back Foundation has been awarded $5,000 to develop weekly support groups and peer mentoring sessions, and expand capacity to provide housing and basic needs for men returning to New Haven from incarceration.
• STRIVE-New Haven has been awarded $5,000 to expand capacity to provide employment training and job placement services to ex-offenders residing in New Haven.
• Urban Resources Initiative has been awarded $5,000 to expand a new green job skills training and transitional employment program for ex-offenders with substance abuse issues.
“Funding from the Reentry Mini-Grant will allow the Urban Resources Initiative to expand our Greenskills program, which hires and trains formerly incarcerated individuals to plant trees throughout the City of New Haven,” said Colleen Murphy-Dunning, Director of the Urban Resources Initiative. “This opportunity supports ex-offenders’ return to the community in a very positive way by providing employment and job training, while also furthering the goal of the Tree Haven 10K Campaign.”
The City of New Haven’s Prison Reentry Initiative, launched in 2008, works with community partners, state agencies and other reentry stakeholders to support the reintegration of formerly incarcerated residents into the New Haven community.
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