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).