Since 2013, the Tarrant County Reentry Coalition has been bringing together stakeholders and citizens to address the challenges of prisoner reentry. Our community-wide collaboration includes over 35 organizations and agencies, partnering for a long-range strategy aimed at breaking the devastating cycle of criminal recidivism in tangible ways.
We meet the third Friday of each month, from 9:30 to 11:00, at Cornerstone Assistance Network in Fort Worth.
All are welcome.
9:30 Oct. 16th at The Resource Connection
2300 Circle Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76119
CAN TARRANT COUNTY BE THE COMMUNITY THAT BEATS THE PRISON TRAP? The sponsors of the new Reentry First-Stop Center for Tarrant County hope so. The Tarrant County Reentry Coalition, in partnership with Cornerstone Assistance Network, Communities Foundation of Texas, and Tarrant County Government, is excited to announce the official Grand Opening of the new center, nicknamed, The First-Stop.
“We want it to be people’s first stop on their way home from jail or prison,” says Mike Doyle, chairman of the board of directors for the Coalition. “We believe that creating a walk-in welcome center will make a huge difference in people’s lives. The national recidivism rate of 66% has not changed in the last ten years. We need to do something different! Having a community-based program that in integrated with the many social service agencies in the area, along with Parole, Probation, Law Enforcement, Workforce, and many other is a powerful model.”
The main tool that the First-Stop has created is the QUICK REFERENCE REENTRY RESOURCE GUIDE FOR TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS. This two-page document has 80 categories of resources in the community, with contact information for each agency listed. “We have all of our resources thoroughly documented in our Reentry Resource Directory on our website,” says Steve Gordon, project manager for The First-Stop. “But leaders in the community encouraged us to create a simple printout that could be produced inexpensively and that people on the streets could easily use to get to the resources they need.” The Guide is distributed in the weekly Reentry Orienation Class held each Monday morning at The First-Stop; it can also be downloaded from the Coalition’s website, www.tcreentry.org.
“We provide the Welcome Center, the Orientation Class, and personal one-on-one Navigation Sessions, to adults in reentry. We try not to exclude anyone. Everyone with a background is welcome. We only require that they be at least 18 years old and be a resident of Tarrant County,” says Gordon. “Our saying is, ‘Whether you’ve been at liberty ten hours or ten years, we have something for you!’”
The Grand Opening Celebration for The First-Stop will be Friday, October 16, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. in The Magnolia Room at The Resource Connection, 2300 Circle Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76119. Call (682) 703-1600 for more details. There will be special guests, food, beverages, resources, helpful info, and a tour of the new center.
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By Steve Gordon, The Strategic Reentry Group
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