“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Goodwill/Easter Seals. I am living proof that there are second chances.”
– Rafiq, ReEntry Services program participant
It’s a fact that finding stable employment is a significant challenge for individuals returning to communities after incarceration. Data suggests that 90 percent of parole violations stem from unemployment or lack of income.
Quickly addressing the need to work upon release from prison can reduce the likelihood of re-arrest. Our ReEntry Services assist ex-offenders in finding and keeping employment. Our individualized approach involves extensive assessment, intensive case management and development of a plan tailored to meet individual goals.
Rafiq spent 24 years in prison – half his life. Transitioning back into the “real world” was a challenge. Everything was different. He didn’t know how to manage a checking account, use a microwave or even a cell phone. He admits, “I was so terrified that my first impulse was to find a way to go back. It felt safer to be incarcerated.”
When Rafiq decided to get help, he was living in a half-way house, unemployed and severely depressed. He realized he had to make a change or go back to prison. He was referred to our ReEntry program, where he completed Employment Readiness Training and participated in Job Club. With this guidance, he successfully transitioned back into the community. Rafiq’s change in attitude, his new skills and motivation led him to a job where he thrives. He’s also committed to help pave the way for men that follow after him.
Our ReEntry Services are made possible by strong relationships with corrections agencies, county child support workers, half-way houses, employment partners and many other nonprofit organizations. Through these partnerships, we launched a mentoring program deepening our ability to go one step further than other organizations. We discovered that for a person to be truly successful in obtaining and retaining a job, ongoing guidance and support, such as mentoring, is important. Whether the support is from an employment counselor or a mentor, our participants get the help they need to succeed.