November 1, 2014

 

The 29th Annual Project COPE Gala will be Saturday, November 1, 2014. 

Be watching for upcoming information!

 

Since 1985, Project COPE has provided transitional housing, case management services, programming, and mentoring to men and women returning from incarceration.  Through the dedication of staff and congregational-based mentoring teams, hundreds of ex-offenders have successfully reintegrated into the community; working, raising families, and living successful lives free of crime.

 

 

 

Approximately 20,000 adults are incarcerated in Missouri prisons, 97 percent of whom will eventually return to communities all across the state.  Of that number, up to 6,000 individuals are released to the Greater St. Louis area each year.  Especially for those who have been incarcerated with longer sentences of 10 years or more, returning home is not always possible.  Family members have died or grown apart; bridges to relationships have been burned; and/or individuals have no safe environments to which they can return.   Too often this results in homeless and/or the high risk of re-offending and recidivism. 

Read MoreReducing Recidivism

 

For 29 years, Project COPE has offered a safe alternative to the risk of recidivism and homelessness by providing safe, clean, transitional housing and support services for men and women participating in the program.  Less than four percent of our graduates re-offend and return to prison within five years. We support our clients (partners) and graduates, and work within our communities to help make them safer by strengthening families, supporting individual success, and helping to save Missouri taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual re-incarceration costs.  Project COPE supports new beginnings, because we know from years of experience that second chances count.

 

Making Second Chances Count

Director's Journal

August 2014 Journal

The Challenges of Finding Safe, Affordable Housing for Ex-Offenders

A majority of people being released from prison face challenges that will negatively impact their ability to live productive, pro-social, crime-free lives in the community. These include housing and employment; relationship and family issues; and substance abuse and mental health problems. This all leads to a lack of financial well-being, and increased risk of recidivism.

In Missouri, over 30,000 individuals are currently incarcerated in Missouri prisons, 97 percent of who will eventually be released. Approximately 20,000 people are released from the Department of Corrections each year, with 5,000-6,000 of those returning to the St. Louis area. Without support, most of them face multiple challenges that will negatively impact their ability to live productive, pro-social, crime-free lives in the community. These include housing and employment; relationship and family issues; and substance abuse and mental health problems. If offenders return without the appropriate and necessary tools to be productive members of society, they have a greater potential to be a threat to public safety, and are at a higher risk to re-offend.

A challenge facing Project COPE clients/partners is finding safe, affordable housing after leaving our transitional program. Few have the financial resources or personal references necessary to compete for and secure housing in the private market without assistance. Additionally, federal laws bar many convicted felons from public housing and federally-assisted housing programs, and for some, living with families is not an option. Without being able to afford housing upon program completion, the partners we serve struggle to meet other basic needs and may face a higher risk of relapse and/or recidivism. Providing financial assistance to access affordable housing offers needed stability for returning prisoners and their families that will ease the transition back into the community.

Through generous funding from the Mangrove Foundation, Project COPE is able to offer assistance to our partners in terms of a matching savings program called RAP (Residential Assistance Program). As part of a collaborative effort between Project COPE and our congregational teams, individuals are assisted in developing a budget and setting up a savings account dedicated toward post-transitional housing. Through the RAP Program, Project COPE will provide a 1:1 match up to and including $500 to assist with moving costs. We are grateful to the Mangrove Foundation for investing in this effort, and are confident that it will benefit our partners as they transition to permanent housing beyond Project COPE.

We believe that investing in the lives of men and women brings an incalculable return on that investment in terms of lives redeemed, families restored, dreams realized, and communities safer… because Second Chances Count.

Blessings –   Kate Mansfield, Executive Director

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Contact Details

Project Cope
3529 Marcus Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63115
314-389-4804
Email: info@projectcopestl.org