Kristyn and Ryan joined the UpTogether Warrior Moms group, a family circle in Over the Rhine, because they wanted to find a support system as they worked to achieve their goals. They participate together in their monthly group meetings and credit UpTogether with Kristyn’s newly launched (and already successful) public relations and editing business. As a family, they are working to save money to send their young son Royal to college, pay off loans, and be able to spend quality time together as a family. While the financial support has been important, Kristyn and Ryan say that the most important part of UpTogether has been finding a community that supports them and holds them accountable to keep working toward their goals.
Rebecca was released from the Dayton Correctional Institution in November of 2017. She came to CityLink Center in January of 2018 and began working with CEO in one of their transitional job crews. She took advantage of a few of the other excellent programs at CityLink, including SmartMoney, a financial education and economic counseling program, and ChangingGears, a program that puts people on a pathway to car ownership. With a helping hand from these programs, Rebecca started working at Promax Auto Packing, a full-time job that she loves. And a few weeks ago, Rebecca was able to buy her car outright from ChangingGears, opening the door to many more opportunities for her and her future.
After returning home from incarceration in 2018, Maurice Vassar had a clear goal–find a stable, permanent job where he could thrive. Like 1,890 other people last year, Maurice was released from the Ohio state prison system back into Hamilton County, the second highest number across the state.
In Ohio, a released prisoner is given a bus ticket, civilian clothes and up to $75. Approximately half of prisoners released had been incarcerated before, and it is likely that 20% will return to an Ohio prison within one year, a number that increases to 52% within three years. The biggest indicator of not returning to prison is stable employment–yet folks face consistent and massive barriers to finding jobs when they are back home. That’s where CEO comes in.
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