April 2021 Newsletter

A God-Sized Vision



Returning Home has been blessed by such amazing partner organizations, sacrificial-giving donors, and clients willing to work hard to create a new life for themselves. I have thrilling news to share with you, plus several things we learned during the pandemic. We saw an increase in the number of people being released from prison and jail, so our services are in high demand more than ever. We served 288 men in the residential program in 2020, which is an 11% increase from 2019.


When you add more clients, without beefing up your infrastructure, your weak points show. Our current kitchen was lacking the space and equipment needed to adequately accommodate meal prep. Britt, our amazing Director of Operations, applied for and received a grant to build out a new commercial kitchen, which will be finished this month. We are so thankful and excited to provide this new space to step up food services and meet the growing needs of our clients.


For the last two years, we have been working on the Community Alternative Program (CAP). CAP will provide Washington County an alternative to incarceration for men who have violated their conditions of probation. These violations will be for missing appointments, not paying fines and fees, and failing drug tests, among other things. These issues do not warrant incarceration, since they are not crimes. Instead of incarceration, for 90 days, CAP will provide stable housing, food security, hygiene kits, clothing, case management, mental health counseling, employment preparedness and job placement assistance, financial education, medication management, and recovery support. The curriculum is designed to reduce recidivism by improving behavior, life skills, mental health, social functioning, and access to education and employment. Evidence-based programs include Trauma-Informed

Care, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Thinking for a change.


Our goals for our clients in CAP:


• Sustaining viable employment

Maintaining a sober lifestyle

• Nurturing functional family dynamics

• Remaining in good standing with community supervision

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The thrilling news is that we received one year's worth of funding from Washington County to start a ten-bed pilot of CAP. It is so encouraging to see our county valuing life change and being willing to lead the way for the State on alternative programming. We received endorsements for this program from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Washington County Judicial System, Arkansas Community Corrections, and a unanimous vote from the

Quorum Court Justices of the Peace. Endorsing evidence-based, outcome-driven programs will meet the goal we all share in reducing the harm to our community caused by crime.

As an organization, we want to thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to updating you on the developments of our new program.