After 20, 30 or 40 years, it's a moment for which most Parole Project clients never dared to dream: Homecoming. Recently paroled from a life-sentence and leaving the gates of the penitentiary, our clients’ worldly possessions can easily fit into a bundled-up sheet that doubles as a suitcase. Most never owned anything of significant value, filled out a tax return, opened a checking account or made travel plans. Parole Project understands that the lack of experience with traditional adult systems and a limited understanding of modern social norms and technology are serious obstacles to reentry.
From the moment of release, Parole Project is committed to making each client feel supported, valued and, most of all, welcome. Returning citizens who feel a sense of "belonging" or a connection to their community are more likely to be productive, cooperative and accountable citizens. This is why providing shelter, food, safety and encouragement to these men and women who leave jail with nothing is so imperative in those first hours of freedom. One doesn't need to be a reentry specialist to identify what our clients need most during those first few days of freedom; our insight simply comes from being human.
This Christmas, please contribute to our "Welcome Home Bag" campaign and help one of our Parole Project clients feel they truly belong to and are supported by our community. This gift will allow each man and woman to start things off on the right foot and help to reduce their anxieties and insecurities as they start their new life. The Welcome Home Bag itself is a high quality, canvas duffel bag to replace the tattered sheets and garbage bags clients leave with. The bag is then filled with a variety of hygiene items: soap, razors, socks, paper products, toothpaste and more. Please consider making a charitable contribution to purchase one or more of the bundled items needed for each bag, the bag itself or even the entire Welcome Home Bag. With dozens of clients still in the initial stages of our program and many more expected in the coming months,we have set a goal to collect enough for 30 complete Welcome Home Bags by Christmas.
Thank you in advance for contributing to the restorative power of a second chance......
Ashleigh Dowden, Administrative Director
Louisiana Parole Project
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