Community service is a key part of GEO Reentry programs’ mission, and this past holiday season, several non-residential reentry centers across the country took part in service activities that help to reduce recidivism and provide value for local citizens.
In Florida, GEO Reentry Alumni Services member Elmo Golden, a graduate of South Bay Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility, helped coordinate an event with the Life Center of Hernando to distribute groceries, gifts, and hygiene kits to over 100 needy families.
Post-program, Mr. Golden is also part of a peer mentoring team and works with GEO Reentry’s Continuum of Care team to track and communicate employment opportunities to program participants. He is also president of Dignity Speaks, a grassroots organization that focuses on mentoring, supporting and empowering individuals while still incarcerated as well as post-release.
Mr. Golden also participates in and sponsors a reentry podcast titled “Death or Prison,” and checks on newly released individuals daily to help them rebuild their lives and establish a positive lifestyle, as he did.
GEO Reentry Alumni Services helps formerly justice-involved individuals stay on a crime-free path by connecting former program participants to community service activities, valuable resources, opportunities and a network of like-minded individuals who are trying to turn their lives around.
Alumni members play a major role in others’ success as they transition to community life by demonstrating a positive pro-social lifestyle and reaching out to those in transition to serve as mentors and offer helpful information for reentry, including employment and education opportunities, local 12-step meetings, housing, food pantries and shelter.
Another program that undertook charitable work this holiday season was the Luzerne County Reentry Service Center, GEO Reentry’s non-residential reentry center in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. On Dec. 11, center staff raised $130 for Valley Santa, a local organization that gives toys to local children in need, by taking part in the county’s “Ugly Holiday Sweater Dress Down Day” event.
“We’re honored to serve Luzerne County by helping participants improve their lives through the reentry programming we offer, as well as extending our help on the outside into the community,” said Luzerne RSC Program Manager Stacey Velez. “This was a great opportunity for our staff and for the children.”
GEO Reentry staff who donned ugly holiday sweaters as part of the event included Velez, Substance Abuse Therapist Kevin Bzdyk, Case Manager Kaitlyn Emerson, Electronic Monitoring Case Manager Kirsten Howell, Case Manager Laura Biga, Lead Substance Abuse Therapist Matthew Karl Shoener and Case Manager Stacey Kittrick.
Thank you again to our GEO Reentry Alumni and reentry center staff for your dedication to improving the lives of program participants and contributing to the well-being of your local community!