The June Game Changer Grant is Awarded to Project RETURN!
June 20, 2018
Project RETURN – Returning Ex-Offenders To Urban Realities and Neighborhoods – is a Milwaukee-based organization working to give second lives to returning citizens, post-incarceration. Project RETURN provides men and women with employment assistance, alcohol and drug abuse treatment, individual and group counseling, housing referrals and a wide array of other services. Their goal is to offer returning citizens a chance to make a positive and permanent return to their community, family and friends.
“Milwaukee is the worst city in the nation as far as poverty goes. When our clients return from the prison system, they are looking for resources but struggle to find them,” says Brian Osei Project RETURN’s Community Organizer.
Project RETURN offers many programs including a Re-Entry Employment Program, Fatherhood Initiative, Jobs Task Force, Changes Support Groups and Alumni Group.
Executive Director Wendel Hruska says, “Our goal is that anybody who’s returning from incarceration has the resources to be successful so they don’t have to make decisions that could land them back in prison. Of individuals that we help find employment for, our recidivism rate is less than 5%.”
Another key aspect of Project RETURN is that they employ individuals who have experienced the prison system first hand. These individuals know the struggles that come with reintegration back into the community. It also lays out a blueprint for the clients coming in. “It’s great to see the lightbulb go off in our clients’ heads when they see and hear about the stories that our organizers and counselors have been through. It is invaluable.” Hruska adds.
The Game Changer Grant funds will help support their programming and allow Project RETURN to affect the lives of countless men and women who are seeking to return from incarceration and be a positive influence in their community and to their family and friends.