Former offenders leaving incarceration and re-entering Baltimore communities will have access to resources aimed to help them re-integrate and stay out of prison in a new facility on the city's Eastside.
The new Harry Jeannette Weinberg Foundation Community Re-entry Resource Center opened Friday at 5000 East Monument Street.
The center will be housed in a 5,000 square-foot building already home to the Volunteers of America and incorporates stake holders like Chesapeake Residential Re-Entry Center, the Mayor's Office of Employment Development, Health Care for the Homeless, Prison Fellowship and mentoring non-profits. Housing locators will also be available to help clients find stable, permanent housing, a challenge for many upon reentry.
The center will be run and staffed by VOA members, focusing on people that have left incarceration and are returning to high-poverty communities in Baltimore City. Former offenders can find services like case management, employment readiness assessment, psychological assessment, substance abuse groups, weekly curriculum based classes on financial literacy, education literacy, anger management, communication skills and other soft skills, and three-month certified training programs.
Non-skill barriers to employment, like mental health, drug addiction, and housing and transportation logistics, can be addressed, and internships, on-the-job training and other avenues to gain workplace experience are offered.
The idea is to create a "one-stop shop" for ex-offenders, so they can get back on their feet, housed, and working gainfully so that they become contributing members of their communities.