Given the strong needs of those coming back from prison, in August of 2020 we launched our Returning Hope to Returning Citizens program which is a very personalized form of total assistance, from the time an individual walks out of prison.
The program has been incredibly successful as we have assisted thousands and thousands of returning citizens on their path of success.
The program is for those returning from a Michigan prison and having been out of prison for 12 months or less (though there are exceptions so contact us if you have been out longer). We provide help as follows:
STEP LADDER PROGRAM OF WAYS WE CAN HELP
1. Once an application is submitted to us, we meet you in person ASAP and provide Walmart gift cards to assist you in obtaining new clothing, toiletries, food and other basic necessities upon your release from prison.
2. We can also provide resource guides, including how to obtain a State ID or Driver's License or Social Security card or a phone or seek counseling or substance abuse treatment etc.
3. We provide detailed referral sources for obtaining immediate employment or job training and education for skilled trade jobs/vocational schooling.
4. Once employment is obtained or schooling begins, we can provide further Walmart gift cards for additional needs, including required work or school related clothing etc.
We can also address any transportation issues you may be having in getting to work.
5. Where someone has a particular skill and their job requires specific tools or equipment, we can obtain those items.
6. The next step is helping you move into a residence of your own when you have saved $1000.00 from employment (or from disability payments) and your are not working for a temporary or staffing agency.
We provide our Housing Resource Guide which has leads and listings of available housing from apartments to houses/flats to rooms as we seek to match the needs and income level of the individual to find a good housing situation.
7. Once a residence is found and approval as a tenant has been accomplished we will email some questions to help us determine if the rent etc. will be doable based on the your income, monthly bills etc.
If all is good, we can usually go 50/50 on the move-in costs of first month rent and the security deposit (up to a maximum of $1000.00 from us).
8. We can next help with furniture needs (full size mattress, box spring and frame, nightstand, lamp, couch and dining room table) and home furnishings (dishes, glasses, silverware, pots/pans, sheets, pillows, blankets, towels, mattress pad, pillowcases etc.)
9. After you are living in your own place with your name on the lease and you find that transportation is a barrier in getting to work, we can help qualified individuals by providing a used vehicle.
This is all done through our Working Cars for Working People program and on that page of our website you can read the requirements for this program.
10. Lastly, we provide help in a variety or other ways including (to qualifying individuals) back rent, car repairs, utilities, eyeglasses, phone bills, bicycles, car notes, car insurance, cable bills, bus passes, gasoline cards, food assistance, work tools/equipment, computers for work or school, professional test taking fees, etc.
We work with returning citizens from the day they are released from prison and we maintain a very personal relationship at every step of the way as he/she moves forward on his or her path to success.
And we remain in close contact at all times for any means of assistance we can provide when an emergency situation arises.
Please note Here to Help assists those returning from a Michigan prison and living in either Wayne or Oakland County only. Please see Requirement 1 on our Who Can We Help page for further info. This program is for those coming back from prison (not jail) and those having been out for less than a year (though there are exceptions for how long one has been in prison).
If you are a returning citizen and in need of assistance through our program, then simply click here to apply:
If you have any questions just email Bob Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org .
This program results in wonderful stories of accomplishment and many of these stories can be found on our FACEBOOK PAGE.
We also are able to offer additional assistance including paying for job certification expenses, offering financial literacy help and mentoring and support groups, and engaging as a referral source for other organizations that assist returning citizens with record expungement, mental health care etc.
PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE HELPING SO MANY RETURNING CITIZENS THAT WE MUST ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING POLICY:
IF WE WERE HELPING YOU AND YOU THEN VIOLATED PAROLE OR WERE SENT BACK TO PRISON FOR ANY REASON (OR TO JAIL), WE WILL LIKELY BE PROHIBITED FROM CONTINUING TO WORK WITH YOU.
SIMILARLY, IF YOU HAVE VIOLATED PAROLE BEFORE YOU COMPLETE AN APPLICATION WITH US WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ASSIST.