Encouraging and Supporting on the Outside
Many former inmates return to jail after their release because they lack informal and formal support systems needed to help them successfully reintegrate back into their communities. The HOPE Aftercare Program is an interfaith pre- and post-release adult reintegration program for inmates and reentrants that seeks to ensure their successful return to the community. HOPE Aftercare provides re-entrants with material assistance, informational resources, referrals, and guidance regarding employment, housing, and other social services. Assistance includes but is not limited to:
- employment counseling;
- resume development;
- housing counseling;
- computer lab; and
- reading glasses.
The program’s mentoring component matches inmates and reentrants with mentors who can support them on a one-on-one basis. Mentors maintain professional relationships with their mentees by visiting them in jail at least two times a month and maintain the match for at least six months. Upon release, mentors and mentees have the opportunity to continue meeting in the community. Mentors play an immeasurably vital role in supporting an individual in their journey through reentry.
On the outside, our weekly PIRC (Positive Initiative to Reinforce Change) Support Groups provide a safe and welcoming forum for reentrants and their supporters to share resources, network, and address social, intellectual, vocational, spiritual, emotional, environmental, and physical needs.
VOICES: The Prison System / Local Citizens Share First-Hand Experiences with Incarceration
Anne Casper, at WQED, reached out to Foundation of HOPE for assistance in developing a video on the “prison system” for their VOICES series. This incredibly powerful and inspiring video features Rodger Jay (HOPE Aftercare Peer Support Specialist), Elexa Becton (former HOPE Aftercare participant & current Aftercare volunteer), and Taili Thompson (HOPE Board Member).
Become a Mentor
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A MENTOR?
A successful mentor is someone who can focus on the needs of their mentee and develop a relationship of trust and respect by being supportive, encouraging, and present. The long-term objective is to empower our mentees to be successful in reentry by offering them support and care.
HOPE provides trainings and materials to equip mentors to be successful in this work. Monthly mentor meetings provide an opportunity for mentors to reflect on mentoring experiences, learn from one another, and grow in understanding of topics such as criminal and addictive thinking patterns and healthy boundaries.
Building relationships takes time, and requires a commitment from both mentors and mentees. We ask each mentor to remember that they are making a pledge to an individual who will be counting on them to show up.
A mentor is expected to:
- be present and supportive in a way that builds trust;
- commit to building and maintaining a relationship with their mentee;
- be at least 21 years of age;
- attend required trainings;
- complete jail clearance paperwork;
- commit to program for at least one year;
- meet with mentee at least twice a month;
- complete monthly reports; and
- upon release, continue meeting in the community (if possible).
If you are interested in learning more about the HOPE Mentor Program or would like to volunteer as a mentor, please contact Barb Kralik, Mentor Coordinator.
How You Can Help
The HOPE Aftercare Program has provided individuals with resources and support to successfully reconnect with their communities and families in positive and meaningful ways. We rely on the support of others like you to help us make a difference. Find out how you can get involved by sharing your gift of time or financial support.
For more information on the HOPE Aftercare Program, contact: Deacon Keith G. Kondrich, Director of Aftercare.
Mentor Communication Reporting
Aftercare Program Mentors are required to complete on-line communication reports. Please click below to complete and submit the form.