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Together we can achieve more. This simple phrase is the root of everything we do to solve the problems facing the formerly incarcerated in our community. We work to unite the people seeking to make our neighborhoods safer and a our families stronger. We do this first out of compassion and second out of need.
Leaving prison is a challenging feat for those who have strong support systems. What about those who do not? Unfortunately, most of those who leave prison will return at some point in their life but it doesn’t have to be that way.
The services exist to provide these people with the direction and support they need to be successful members of society again, they just need to be connected in a meaningful way.
The vast majority of those currently incarcerated are there due in some part to addiction and/or alcoholism. Drug and alcohol treatment have been proven effective when given the chance to work. Although many endure relapses, the incident of relapse is no worse than with other diseases like diabetes or heart disease.
Transportation, especially in suburban and rural areas is a cornerstone to self-sufficiency. Those faced with a lack of transportation sometimes turn to other methods to obtain the things they want and need. Finding creative solutions to transportation issues is a key element in assisting those returning from incarceration.
Having a place to call home is something many of us take for granted and yet, it is a vital component of our success. Finding housing after a period of incarceration can be next to impossible. Resources exist but they are difficult to access.
Mental health is often overlooked ans stigmatized by our society and yet it is such a barrier to success for some. Obtaining and maintaining a mental health plan can be a critical component of reducing recidivism while improving the safety of our families.
Education has been the key to a strong and effective middle class in the United States. Education has also been proven to help stabilize individuals and direct them on a path to responsible self-sufficiency. Access to education can be limited due to restrictive drug enforcement laws but other, non-traditional alternatives exist.
Without our health, where would we be? Too often, access to proper healthcare is limited for those returning from incarceration. Medications, routine check-ups, and preventive medicine are practically non-existent. Connecting to the limited resources is tricky but it happens every day.
Finding a job can be an extremely difficult undertaking for even the most seasoned professionals. This task is made even more difficult when the skills employers want are out of reach. Skill development programs exist but we need the connections to get in and pay for the training. When we do, great things can happen.
Together we can achieve more than we ever could alone. You can help One-Eighty to serve the community by empowering these men and women returning from incarceration to rebuild their lives. Every day, dozens of people leave the penitentiary to begin again our hope is that with our help, they will find the help they need and never return to a live of crime and despair.
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