Helping Hand Resource Center is a non-profit organization that primarily serves ex-felons and individuals with severe criminal backgrounds, through a re-entry program called P.U.S.H.
After making mistakes and fighting addiction, T’’ommy Mcafee wanted to change her life for the better. After hearing about the P.U.S.H. program from her mother, Mcafee knew this was the place for her.
Bishop John Write, Director of Helping Hands says the program is crucial for the community, “Help those ex offenders that are reintegrating back into society to get some type of support system to help them get back to life skills.”
For the last three months T’ommy and many others have been working to better themselves.
The 18 month program teaches students how to prepare for the world through conflict resolution, anger management, and how to act in the community.
Mcafee says the course has saved her life, “I probably would be in jail right now, or somewhere not safe doing something that I shouldn’t be doing.”
On Monday Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth toured the facility and met with members who benefit from the organizations assistance of social services, employment, and job skills.
“Ultimately if you don’t have the ability to access employment, ability to access somewhere safe to live, it’s very difficult to change your life and difficult to leave a life of crime,” Gordon-Booth said.
Gordon-Booth added the mission is to reduce crime and to lower recidivism in the community.
“It’s important work, clearly there are some disparities that exist in this community and the only way we are going to be able to lessen some of the disparities is working together on this.”
Members of the program are asked to make goals for themselves through-out the 18 month program and continue those goals after completion. Mcafee says she wants to finish school and become and a registered nurse.