November 1, 2014

 

29th Annual "Celebrating Second Chances" Gala Mark your calendar for November 1st, and plan to attend  Project COPE's 29th Annual "Celebrating Second Chances" gala.  The event will be held at the Living World Center at the world-famous St. Louis Zoo.  The highlight of the evening will be the presentation of our 2014 "Making a Difference" award to Danny and Susan Ludeman in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the St. Louis community. 

 

 

 

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, approximately 20 percent of the individuals are released to the Greater St. Louis area each year. Especially for those who have been incarcerated with long sentences, 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.  Statistics show that, without support, over 40 percent will be re-incarcerated within three years.  That is a significant loss of human potential, a serious drain on communities, and a tragic loss to families.  In order to be successful, many returning adults require support to meet the challenges of unemployment, housing limitations, and rebuilding relationships. 

 

 

 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 an women participating in our 12-month program.  Less than four percent of our graduates re-offend and return to prison within three 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

September 2014

Addressing the Challenges Facing Re-entry

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, and of those, approximately 20 percent return 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.  Sadly, nearly 50 percent will be caught in the revolving door of community and corrections within three years of their release.

A challenge facing many ex-offenders is finding safe, affordable housing after leaving prison. 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.  As our partners prepare to leave our transitional housing, we help prepare them to secure long-term housing by helping them budget and providing a financial housing match.  It's working!

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

Thank you for caring - Kate Mansfield, Executive Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Details

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