As a preventive measure against COVID-19, programs that New Leaf New Life facilitates in the jail will not continue until further notice so we are transitioning to provide services through in-house mail This comes following a number of decisions to close or reduce public services that support those most disenfranchised among us.
Today we want to lay out the specific needs we have as an organization serving incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals--people whose barriers to safety are already high including access to income, housing, sanitation and food.
We Need Your Help in working toward equity in these difficult times. We Need Your Support in maintaining support services in the jail while reducing risk of infection, and also making sure we keep our doors open in the Transition Support Center for those recently released who rely on our services.
During a typical month NLNL receives between 200 and 250 in-house letters. We expect this number will come close to doubling with in-house programs being discontinued. Volunteers who are interested in responding to letters from individuals inquiring about resources can reach out to email@example.com .
Day-1 Release Action Plans:
Prior to release NLNL equips participants with preparing for their transition back into the community by constructing day-1, week-1, month-1 action plans. These plans identify barriers, resources, and needs that participants will have at each stage of their release.
With jail programs being shut down, we will have to meet with folks one-on-one to construct these plans the moment they are released. We will also be working with participants on re-entry preparation via in-house mail. This is going to be a much more labor intensive and time consuming process. Some of the many resources we provide inside the jail as part of day-1 release action plans include birth certificates, prescription glasses, drivers license/state ID, housing and employment resources. These are things we will now need to do at the Transition Support Center the moment individuals are released.
Transition Support Center:
Our organization offers one-on-one support for people experiencing barriers post-incarceration. At the TSC we maintain a safe, low barrier space for those impacted by the criminal legal system.
Clients are able to express their immediate needs concerning re-entry, build/carry out action plans with peer support, set measurable goals, identify needs/barriers, and receive assistance with navigating employment, housing and treatment.
We Need Your Support To Continue to Provide These Services.
We will remain open and continue to provide services to our clients while keeping health and safety a top priority. Many of our clients wil be released less prepared to carry out their action plans, as a result of Re-Entry Workshops being put on hold in the jail due to COVID-19. There will be a much higher need for more in-depth case management and support for post-release as well as more support for finding employment, housing and treatment services.
We will be reducing the number of people in the TSC space at a time while still providing services including bus tickets, backpacks, hygiene items, clothes, food, computer use, phones, resume help and individualized staff support at our transition center as well as day-1 release action plans.
We will be increasing low barrier services in order to be able to serve people even if they are ill. This will take place in an open air/outdoor area where we will be providing folks with the resources they need without risking the spread of COVID-19 to our other clients.
Our community education and train-the-trainer workshops will continue and expand. We will be hosting nurse-led, open-air hygiene and medical workshops for disenfranchized community members to be able to have useful precautionary and treatment resources. The winter shelter will be ending soon leaving even more folks houseless and in need of resources.
Many of our clients are impacted by felony records and evictions meaning they can't stay home--or do not have homes to return to.
All of this will take additional funds for staffing, cleaning supplies, safety supplies and resources for our clients.
That is Where You Come In.
We are anticipating needing an additional 25 thousand to get us to and through August. All money donated will support the work we do at the Transition Support Center as well as the work we will continue to do for those who reach out to us via in-house mail at the jail.
Every donation is important and means a lot to the board, staff and clients of New Leaf New Life.