KTTU "In Focus," Sunday, 8/1/10, 10:30 AM & "KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 8/22/10, 7:30 AMPosted: Updated:
Host Bob Lee interviews Nick Jones, CEO,and Rene Myers, Development Director, Old Pueblo Community Services.
Without support to provide stability and encourage recovery, statistics indicate that up to half of the peoplereleased from jails and prisons will return to prison within 3 years.
Jones says promoting a successful re-entry into the community is the objective of Old Pueblo Community Services. He says substance abuse issues, housing and finding employment are the two biggest hurdles newly-released people have to overcome. He said having a job paying a living wage with benefits, education to improve employability, transportation, food, and clothing are tantamount to a successful re-entry into the community.
Myers says nearly 75% of the clients served by Old Pueblo Community Services are chronically homeless. She says it is common for incarcerated individuals to have breached family relationships, so living with family is not an option. Felons, she says, are banned from public housing, and theprivate market is generally unaffordable.
Jones said OPCS offers a safe transitional housing opportunity for men and women who are open to the possibility of recovering from a history of substance and/or alcohol abuse. He says the residents focus on employment and future permanent housing needs after graduating OPCS programs. He says that whenindividuals are equipped to maintain steady employment, maintain stable relationships with family and friends, and sustain financial independence, there is an increase in sobriety.