Since we began in 2007, Here to Help has done a lot of work assisting returning citizens in successfully moving forward.
We helped with furniture (Home Sweet Home program), paying first month’s rent or security deposit (Roof Over Head program), or providing used vehicles to get to work (Working Cars for Working People program) etc.
But we felt there was more we could do.
So we created the Returning Hope to Returning Citizens program in August of 2020, which is a very personalized step ladder form of total assistance from the time an individual walks out of prison. This includes help as follows:
STEP LADDER PROGRAM OF TEN WAYS WE CAN HELP
1. We first provide Walmart gift cards to help individuals obtain new clothing and basic necessities upon release from prison.
2. We then provide resource guides to whatever meets their needs, including how to obtain a State ID or Driver's License or Social Security card or how obtain a phone or seek counseling or substance abuse treatment and, where applicable, how to apply for disability benefits.
3. We also provide detailed referral sources for obtaining immediate employment or job training for skilled trade jobs or vocational schooling. We can assist with applications etc.
4. Once an income is established through employment (or disability benefits) we provide additional Walmart gift cards for remaining needs, including things like required work-related clothing/shoes/boots etc.
5. Where someone has a particular skill and their job requires tools or equipment, we can assist with the purchase of those items.
6. The next step is moving into a residence of their own. We provide a resource guide of available housing and also have a Housing Coordinator who assists in locating an apartment or a house or a room to rent, which meets the needs and income level of the individual. We can also provide assistance with negotiation of the lease etc.
7. Once a residence is obtained and a lease is ready to be signed, we can assist with some of the move-in costs along with the contribution of the returning citizen. The amount is usually half paid by Here to Help and half paid by you.
8. We can next help with furniture and home furnishings (for example - dishes, glasses, cooking utensils, pots/pans, linens, towels etc.)
9. If someone finds that transportation is a barrier in getting to work, we can help qualified individuals by providing a used vehicle (where it is established the returning citizen will be able to afford insurance, car repairs and maintenance etc.) This is all done through an application to our Working Cars for Working People program.
10. Lastly, if down the road a returning citizen encounters an emergency situation and they qualify for one of our other programs, then we can provide assistance (such as Road Ready Repairs or Roof Over Head etc.). The individual can apply for assistance directly from those other programs by completing the Application for the program which addresses their emergency. Please see: What Do We Help With?
So, we work with returning citizens from their new beginning and 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 including guidance, emotional support etc.
This program results in wonderful stories of accomplishment and many of these stories can be found on our FACEBOOK PAGE.
If you or someone you know is a returning citizen and in need of assistance through this program, then simply click here to apply:
INITIAL APPLICATION. If you have any questions then just email Bob Schwartz at email@example.com or text at 248-330-7271. Please do not call but text and Bob will be back in touch as soon as possible.
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.