Organizations gather in South Philadelphia to help formerly incarcerated people rebuild their lives

A group of service organizations hosted a community Day of Action in South Philadelphia, with the goal of helping formerly incarcerated people connect with programs to rebuild their lives.

It can take some time for people who have served their time to get reacclimated back into society, but there are dozens of programs available to help them navigate their transition.

"Once people have better circumstances, we can expect better outcomes," Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at REFORM Alliance, Britton Smith, said.

REFORM Alliance is an organization focused on probation and parole reform. Smith says helping formerly incarcerated people find a job is a game changer.

"These people are folks who are looking for opportunities for sustainable pathways to succeed and achieve and they are earnest people who really want a second chance and deserve a second chance," Smith explained.

Tonie Willis, with Ardella’s House, is trying to give women a second chance by providing them with a safe place to call home.

"We have brand-new facility in Strawberry Mansion on 33rd Street. That’s where it starts and they have to have a clean, safe place to lay their head," Willis stated. "If they don’t, they don’t have anything else. We also do job readiness. We do family reunification and mentoring."

Giving people tools to be self-sufficient is what the Elevation Project is committed to provide. It’s a business incubator that helps formerly incarcerated men start their own business.

Founder and Executive Director for the Elevation Project, Latrista Webb, said, "They’ve started everything from landscaping businesses to catering businesses. Hair care lines. They come in and if it’s a service business part of the program is starting the product. So, we have everything from seasonings to cleaning products that they’ve started, as well."

Anyone in need of rebuilding their life can contact REFORM Alliance at their website.