The Progressive Maryland Returning Citizens Task Force (previously known as the Reentry Work Group) held a grant program kickoff event to celebrate grant recipients!
So long as we lock up people, hold them for years cut off from the outside world,
then send them home without resources or support, there will be a need to provide
direct services to returning citizens. Persons leaving prison often need help finding
housing and jobs, need medical and mental health services, need access to substance
abuse and other programs, need assistance navigating bureaucratic hurdles in order to
obtain needed identification cards, drivers licenses, insurance coverage, voter
registration, tuition grants, and other documents and application forms most people
assume are readily and easily available.
For too long, Prince George’s County lacked institutions and organizations willing
and able to undertake the work of helping reintegrate people back into our community
after a period of incarceration – but that situation has changed as an increasing number
of individuals have stepped up to create non-profits that are providing services that are
Making use of a generous grant from a local funder, Progressive Maryland’s
Returning Citizens Task Force (RCTF) awarded grants to eight organizations –
Acivilate, Damascus House, The Denney House, Joe’s Movement Emporium,
Jordan Peer Recovery, Making A Difference LLC, Neen Cares Inc, SLK Health
Services Corporation -- doing outstanding work assisting those reentry society after
spending time in prison.
Seven of the eight grant recipients took part in an all-day meeting on Saturday,
June 11 at the Zion Church (Greenbelt Campus). RCTF grants are aimed at not only
supporting the excellent work already being done, it is also designed to encourage
collaboration and cooperation between all providers and judged by that standard, the
meeting (with over 20 invited participants) was a resounding success.
The program consisted on a welcome by Zion Church and by Progressive
Maryland, was highlighted by representatives of each of the grantee organizations
speaking about the distinct services they provide, and the underlying spiritual and social
values which guide the work they do. Underlying all this was a recognition that prison is
itself a form of trauma which must be addressed directly at the same time as people are
given or pointed in direction of resources that will enable them to live with the dignity
and respect to which all individuals are entitles.
Participants were walked through the grant requirement process, and were
informed of the next five modules which will all be designed to further skills and deepen
collaboration going forward.