People returning to the community after being in prison face numerous barriers to becoming productive, law-abiding citizens: unemployment, lack of education, addiction, mental health issues, family problems, difficulty finding landlords who will rent to them or employers who will hire them. Yet, without resources to address these barriers, they may wind up committing more crimes and returning to prison. And that's bad for ALL of us.
This is where the RMO comes in. We're all about ensuring that people returning to our neighborhoods after being in prison have the Resources, Mentoring and Opportunities they need to get their lives on track and remain crime-free. That's the ultimate definition of "success" for the people we serve.
Last year, 85% of the people in our RMO Intensive program remained crime-free.
But that's only one of many definitions of "success" for our RMO program participants. Here are some recent other successes they've achieved . . .
For James and Tracy, leaders in the RMO's Successful Returning Citizens Mentoring Support Group, one recent success was being featured speakers at a community-wide forum in September on the criminal justice system and the challenges of re-entering society after being in prison.
One of Jill's latest successes was being invited to go on a leadership development trip to Washington, DC to hear Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, speak to an audience of over 500 community leaders. She also recently earned her 16-week certificate in the Successful Returning Citizens Mentoring Support Group, and just moved into her own apartment, after being in the RMO's transitional housing at TLC.
At this week's Successful Returning Citizens Mentoring Support Group meetings, participants reported these other successes:
"I finally got a job and started working this week!" ~ Tina
"I'm starting to really understand how my actions have affected my family. I'm working on making amends." ~ Mike
"I stayed out of jail and been doing right for a whole year now!" ~ Craig
"I'm pursuing my GED after being out of school for forty years." ~ Julius
"I've been talking with my 14 year-old son about doing the right things, not following in the path I took when I was his age." ~ William
The RMO is participating in the ExtraOrdinary Give and we're asking for YOUR SUPPORT by making a donation to the RMO during the ExtraGive. You'll be investing in the success of the people we serve.
Here's what President Obama said recently about the importance of investing in reentry:
"There are people who have gone through tough times, they've made mistakes. But with a little bit of help, they can get on the right path. And that's what we have to invest in. That's what we have to believe. That's what we have to promote." ~ President Barack Obama, November 2, 2015