In 3 Years, 46 men have completed the T.R.Y. housing program and successfully reunited with their families and communities. Only one went back to prison.
Truly Reaching You Ministries is a 501(c)3 faith-based, organization that focuses on the positive growth in the lives reentering the community after serving their sentence. Understanding the challenges they face seeking jobs, finding homes and building relationships, T.R.Y. has supported over 1,200 men and women with community involvement, transitional housing, employment training, outreach programs and a Relationship-based Re-entry Process that provides a structured, family-oriented environment.
Understanding the hardships families face when the father or mother is gone, T.R.Y. begins preparing families for the reunion even before the parent reenters the community. To let children and their caregivers know they are not forgotten, T.R.Y. has provided over 1,500 children and caregivers with Christmas gifts, back-to-school supplies and Thanksgiving baskets on behalf of the incarcerated parent.
According to a report from the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, last year approximately 2,000 ex-offenders returned to Akron and the surrounding area under supervisory release. In addition, of the number of adults sentenced to serve time in Summit County Jail last year, 68% will return to prison within three years of their release.
$59,860 (March 2013). This is the average estimated incarceration cost per inmate per year. And we all know where this money comes from. So the goal here is to reduce recidivism (to stop repeat offenders from going back to prison). The average cost per T.R.Y. client for a 12-month recovery program is approximately $17,000. Funds provided by grants, donations and sponsors, enable T.R.Y. to provide men and women reentering the community with necessary housing, employment training, as well as a healthy support system to help them change their lives, build positive relationships and reduce their chances of returning to prison.
In 2009, of 25 men that stayed in our Healthy Support System for an average of 4 months, only one has since committed a misdemeanor.
In addition, the Uniform Crime Reporting Program recently reported, "violent crime increased 21% in Akron from 2007 to 2008. In 2008, the city saw 16 homicides. In 2009, Akron's homicide rate multiplied by four the final six months of the year and pushed the final homicide total to 20."
With such a high rate of repeat offenders and far too many in violent crimes in Akron, T.R.Y. Ministries approached this challenge with a renewed perspective and discovered that men and women returning to society need access to a healthy support system the moment they are released.
At least 75% of men and women coming to T.R.Y. are penniless and homeless. As a result, they go into survival mode, trying to find food, clothing and a permanent place to sleep. With no money, no job and no one to direct them toward a positive change, they must make a lifetime decision in a matter of moments. Facing more jail-time or shelter-hopping as the only "permanent solutions" to their immediate problem, they often select the path that leads them back into their old, negative relationships, illegal activity and addictions.
Many believe that ex-offenders are unwilling or unable to make a permanent change for the better. This is simply not the case. In the study, From Prison to Home: The Effect of Incarceration and Reentry on Children, Families and Communities by the Urban Institute, it indicates that, "Inmates often may come to depend heavily on institutional decision-makers to make choices for them and rely on the structure and schedule of the institution to organize their daily routine."
T.R.Y. ministries reaches out to not only men and women willing to make the long-term change for a brighter future, but also their families.
According to the study, Effects of Parental Incarceration on Young Children: "58% of children with incarcerated parents are under 10 years of age, with 8 being the average age. Incarceration disrupts the contact patterns between children and their non-residential parents. These children are old enough to suffer nightmares and flashbacks to the arrest incident, hindering the child-parent relationship down the road. Oftentimes, these children exhibit internalizing problems, such as anxiety, withdrawal, hypervigilance, depression, shame and guilt."
T.R.Y. begins preparing families for reconnection even before men and women are released into society. We provide directed family assistance to let children and the spouse/caregiver know they are not forgotten. Our healthy support system prepares them and their families for a healthy, positive reunion.
"In December 2009, my child Sabbath and I were able to experience the wonderful work of T.R.Y. Ministries. You made our Christmas something special in 2009. I was overjoyed when I received a call from your group offering to provide a gift to Sabbath sent from his father. Perry, you made an excellent impact in Sabbath's life that he remembers and talks about often," - Jackie, grateful mother