Featured Client Story
“If I look at my life last year, I wouldn’t imagine I would be where I am today. I feel like I’m becoming the person I’m supposed to be.”
Tinisha was born to parents who were addicts. She was abused as a child and sold to a drug dealer at the age of 11. She was raised by the drug dealer and that was the only lifestyle she knew. Tinisha ended up dealing drugs and become addicted herself. She spent some time in jail. When she got out, she knew she had to break the cycle and find a new path. She has been in recovery for two years now.
After completing Project Place’s Work Ready program, Tinisha was employed in Project Place’s Working Opportunities for Women (WOW) enterprise, where she learned production, assembly, ordering, sales and marketing skills. She has been able to translate those skills to a new job, and now works for a company that makes caramel. Tinisha proudly shares, “I’ve reached a lot of my goals. I have my own place and I’m in a job where I can grow within the company.”
“I don’t live the life of addiction anymore. I’m able to help people with my story, and I’m able to ask for help. It all has to do with Project Place… There was a way out, and Project Place opened up their doors and showed me how.”
Project Place has been working with the Suffolk County House of Correction since 2003. This means we have over 15 years of experience in helping people re-enter the community. We work inside the House of Correction Returning from prison can be difficult and there can be challenges. Some common ones we see are:
- lost relationships
- unemployment or under-employment
- a sense of disconnect from society
- technology and education gaps
Many are grieving from the lost time and freedom. There can be shame and questioning of self-worth. Individuals with a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) experience labeling and stigmatization, leaving this vulnerable population even more at risk.
At Project Place, we welcome individuals with histories of court involvement and incarceration. We work to provide a path to empowerment. To do so, we create opportunities for learning that lead to financial independence. We believe that courage, motivation and strength exist in every person we serve and that change is possible; but these resources can be out of reach for many. We will work together to find and access resources, overcome barriers, and build a better future.
SPARRC is a 4-week class that provides group meeting times, dedicated 1:1 case management time, and workshops that cover a range of helpful topics. By the end, participants should have the basic tools and support network to move into job training. The class is repeatable so even if more support is needed, you can always re-enroll.
Starting from the basics, we offer progressing levels of job training that put clients on a path towards employment with a livable wage. We start in the classroom and computer lab, teaching essential life and work skills. Then we move on to industry training, where we prepare for clients to test for national credentials. Finally, we offer transitional employment opportunities so clients can learn hands-on in a supportive environment. Read more about the path you could take here.
We offer assessments, trainings, coaching and job placement services to help develop a career and learn the skills to advance past entry-level. Career Services works with local employers and educational organizations to find the most efficient ways to maximize career pathways.
Meet with case managers 1:1 to come up with a plan to move forward. Case managers will help create a plan that outlines goals, supports, resources, and next steps to help each person find their own path.
To help promote success, we stay connected for at least 2-years after programming, for as long as needed. If someone faces setbacks, needs extra support, wants to learn more skills, or just wants to stay in touch Project Place is always here to welcome them back.
Project Place works with individuals who are:
- Living in a half-way house under community supervision
- Have a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information)
- Working with probation or parole
In addition to our main job training, we offer these special programs:
Community Reentry for Women (CREW)
Women returning from prison require targeted services. Project Place created the award-winning CREW program with the Suffolk County House of Correction in 2003. Working inside the facility, we offer early stages of both programming and case management. This addresses many of the difficulties listed above surrounding the someone’s return to the community. Case managers work with women at each step of the process. They help establish education and career goals and help them with their personal and family life. The client and case manager also focus on finding safe and stable housing for them and their children.