There are more than 20,000 individuals incarcerated in the Maryland State prison system and more than 30% are returning to Baltimore City.
While incarcerated, individuals suffer from trauma, isolation, rejection, as well as mental health and substance use disorders. When they return to their families and communities they are often broken and have difficulty successfully reintegrating. They need resources and support.
H.O.P.E. is already providing peer support and mentoring as well as connections to community resources and services.
HOPE Founder, Antoin Quarles, knows better than anyone how difficult reentry can be after spending an accumulation of almost two decades in jail and prison as a result of more than two dozen charges and four sentences. The time away from his family was devastating. He is now reaching back to help others just like him.
Mentoring: Tuesday night meetings that include dinner and peer-led discussion for and by returning citizens. Topics include personal struggles, resume building, upcoming employment and community service opportunities, relationship building strategies, communication skills, team-building activities, and more. There is an open-door policy and all are welcome to attend and participate. Participants that complete the program should be well-equipped to mentor incoming participants.
Employment Support: Focuses on professional development and includes assistance with job preparation & readiness, interview skills, resume builders, and information about employment opportunities.
Court and Parole: Support and assistance with reaching goals and conditions of sentences and supervision. This may include letters for parole and probation agents and judges, as well as accompanying participants to court.
One-on-One Case Management: Participants work with a dedicated case manager to set goals and develop a plan for long-term stability.
In addition, the case manager can assist with barrier removal: helping obtain bus passes to assist with transportation, assistance with obtaining ID, social security card, and birth certificate.
The case manager can also help with connections and referrals to an array of services and resources, such as substance use and mental health treatment, assistance with applying for health insurance and public benefits, housing resources, and clothing.