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!