- Nearly half of people with criminal backgrounds are still jobless a year after leaving prison impacting Black, Latino, and People of Color disproportionately
- 40% of previously incarcerated individuals or families impacted by incarceration reported they did not know how or where to connect to local resources
- 170 participants: Latino: 60%; Black or African American: 23%; White: 11%; Mixed
Race: 3%; Other or undisclosed: 2%
- 49% having been incarcerated, 67% having a family member who was
- Convened partner agencies committed to this underserved population to develop a Trauma Informed and Responsive Ready, Willing and Able Assessment Tool and an online platform to identify services and make referrals.
- Formed a Learning Community of Practice with partner agencies: Helix Human Services, HCS Head Start, Holyoke Community College, Home City Development, MassHire Springfield, New North Citizens’ Council, Springfield School Volunteers, and Square One
- Led training in trauma-informed and responsive approaches and provided direct support to partner agency managers and staff for 170 clients
Impact & Outcomes — Capacity Building
- Agency staff learned skills to provide better services: developing connection and trust with clients, understanding and asking about barriers to employment that they previously would not, and seeking more appropriate resources to support readiness for employment
- Clients described a sense of safety, connection, and trust to discuss difficult and personal issues that had been barriers to success
- 413Cares Online platform facilitated connections between social services programs across Western Mass, making navigating and connecting to resources easier
- 23 resource categories provided over 70 service programs to Prepare for Employment, Sustain Employment, or Connect to Training & Career Coaching
Impact & Outcomes — Systems Change
- Designed to create lasting change in the ways current systems approach barriers to employment by cultivating a broader understanding of the multiple barriers for individuals and families
- Began to shift the burden of navigating these systems to the service providers rather than program recipients
- Equipped agencies and staff with the training and assessment tools to engage more effectively with vulnerable populations
- Several partner agencies and staff have indicated the intention to continue to use the assessment tool and online platform beyond this project
- Engage employers to break down barriers, and implement and strengthen hiring relationships for “2nd chance” hiring
Many thanks to our partner agencies!
*Surveys were intentionally targeted at justice-system-involved individuals.