End of Year Update
Hello all, it has been a full year - some travel and some new approaches to reentry. We are still unable to do workshops at any of the Iowa prisons, but we are still working with new incarcerated individuals every week! I want to thank our team for their dedication and commitment - Sue Hutchins, Doren Walker, Dale Helling, Erin James and Jerry Nelson. We look forward to expanding our work in 2022. Here is a list of some activities:
Traveled to Burlington in March to meet with the amazing Tamara Nunez at ADDS (https://addsiowa.org/ and see the new housing program at Transitions (https://www.transitionsdmc.org/) We also met with Freda and Jim Sojka to learn more about their plans to start a housing/employment/recovery program for women in Letts. It is on a gorgeous location along the Cedar River. (https://www.cedarriverranch.com/)
Visited Dubuque in May to meet with Karen Hoeger and learn more about the Catholic Charities Jail & Prison Ministry. Check them out at: https://catholiccharitiesdubuque.org/jail-prison-ministry
In June, we met with Michelle and Dean Feltes at One City in Waterloo. (https://www.onecitycv.org/ ). They are doing incredible work. We also met with the new director of Junkman-Knobel Center, Daniel Shafer at the Catholic Charities Jail & Prison Ministry, the area Workforce Development staff and 1st District Parole staff.
Took a couple of trips to Des Moines and had the privilege of attending Kingdom Living's Family Festival in September. (https://kingdomlivingia.com/ ). Jessie Goodwin and his team are helping so many women and men at Kingdom Living! I also had the chance to tour Harbor of Hope (https://harborofhopeiowa.com/) and Beacon of Life (https://thebeacondm.org/). Both are excellent housing and recovery programs.
We have also been continuing our quarterly Zoom meetings and building connections across Iowa. It is always wonderful to hear about the vital work everyone is doing.
MOST IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT:
In August, we were granted access (via email) to incarcerated individuals at North Central Correctional Facility (Rockwell) as they plan their return to the community. There is a group called the Image Program that encourages and facilitates reentry planning. It is a great partnership and thanks to all the great organizations in Iowa, we are able to help individuals better prepare for their return. We hope this effort expands to other institutions in the state.
Doren Walker at the Convict Road in Fredonia, IA. His new organization, Family Love (https://www.familylove4u.com/ ) is doing great work in the 8th district and statewide.