Since we began, Here to Help has done a lot of work assisting returning citizens in successfully moving forward.
We were helping returning citizens 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: into a very personalized step ladder form of total assistance from the time an individual walks out of prison, which includes help as follows:
STEP LADDER PROCESS OF TEN WAYS WE CAN HELP
1. We first provide gift cards to obtain a large amount of new clothing and basic necessities upon release from prison, as most often times the returning citizen has nothing but the clothes they wore while walking out of prison.
2. We then provide information on obtaining a State ID or Driver's License or Social Security card and, where applicable, how to apply for disability benefits.
3. We next provide detailed referral sources for obtaining employment or job training for trade jobs or vocational schooling and can assist with applications etc.
4. Once an income is established through employment (or disability benefits) we provide additional gift cards for remaining needs, including 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 from transitional housing. We provide referral sources for renting an apartment or house and we provide assistance with negotiation of the lease.
7. Once a residence is obtained, we can assist with SOME of the move-in costs.
8. After moving, we can help with furniture along with home furnishings (for example - dishes, glasses, cooking utensils, pots/pans, linens, towels etc.)
9. If someone has shown a successful start with their full-time job but transportation is a problem 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 through 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.).
So, we work with returning citizens from the beginning and maintain a very personal relationship at every step of the way along as he/she moves forward on his or her path to success. We help all returning citizens and not those just recently released, so one can apply no matter what stage they may currently be relative to our step ladder approach to assistance.
This program results in wonderful stories of accomplishment for returning citizens.
If you or someone you know is a returning citizen and in need of assistance through this program, then simply click here to apply:
If you have any questions as you fill out the Application then just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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, phones etc.