Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $750,000)
The Urban League of Greater Atlanta (ULGA) is applying for the Department of Justice Community Based Reentry Program which will assist up to 100 reentering citizens reintegrate back into their metro Atlanta communities and gain workforce skills and stackable credentials within high-demand industry sectors, obtain livable wage jobs, and have supports in place so not to return to criminal behavior. Based on best practices, model programming, and evidence-based practices, the 24-month program with 12-month follow-up for retention provides both pre and post release services to include training and soft skills development which enables program participants to be prepared for living wage employment, which research demonstrates as highly effective in the reduction of recidivism.
ULGA will continue to utilize a successful Career Pathways approach. Embarking on pathways with portable and stackable credentials, participants who successfully complete programming with credential(s) can attain higher-wage employment in which advancement is likely. Case Managers and participants will explore the Construction/Building Trades, Advanced Manufacturing, Hospitality, IT, and Distribution/Logistics career pathways and high-demand occupations, identifying skills & competencies, and obtaining and retaining employment. Through the highly effective, holistic Reentry Opportunity Center (ROC) model, this Community-Based Reentry Program (CBRP) will be coordinated so that participants will have access to a range of pre-and-post-release services and tools. Throughout this program, returning citizens will maintain the same Case Manager pre/post-release. Services will begin with recruiting participants pre-release, developing an Individual Development Plan (IDP), and initiating career exploration, training, and credential attainment. IDPs will link programs, employers, and external service providers prior to leaving the facility to assure the seamless continuity of services in the community upon release, and ultimately guide the participants through to successful reintegration.
The proposed project will serve at least 100 reentering citizens and focus on the metro Atlanta area (Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Henry Counties, and the City of Atlanta) with an overall poverty rate of nearly 24%, above US rate of 12.3%-one of the country's poorest areas. The target communities for this program are plagued by high levels of crime, poverty, and blight, and encompass various Opportunity Zones.