The Need
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The mission of The HELP Center is to provide ex-offenders, offenders, and low income individuals support to restructure their lives and achieve success with counseling, educational, employment, and supportive services.


A criminal conviction doesn't have to be the end of your career road - not by a long shot. If one has recently been released from jail or prison - or are likely to be released soon - transitional work programs can help them find work immediately, and apply for jobs with employers who won't discriminate against you based on your criminal record. Many offenders have difficulty finding permanent, un-subsidized, well-paid employment after release because they lack job-seeking experience, a work history, and occupational skills; furthermore, many employers refuse to hire individuals with criminal records. These circumstances seriously affect an ex-offender’s stability because unemployment is consistently associated with high recidivism rates.

The vast majority of offenders currently being detained in secure facilities will, someday, be released into the community, and more offenders are transitioning into the community today than ever before. Offender reentry is a complex issue that touches on a wide range of social and governmental networks and programs. Some ex-offenders, however, eventually end up back in prison. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) most recent study on recidivism showed that within five years of release nearly three-quarters of ex-offenders released came back into contact with the criminal justice system, and more than half returned to prison after either being convicted for a new crime or for violating the conditions of their release. Records show through of cases studies that ex-offenders find it easier to convert back to their old ways of living because employers and society makes it extremely hard for them to re-enter.

Ex-offenders are the future of our country, just as we are, but if they are not well educated and elevated in economic and social status, they will not only be a wasted life but shall also do no good to the country.

Common barriers our clients are faced with:

  • Lack of:

    • ID documentation – birth certificates, state IDs, and driver licenses

    • housing

    • food

    • income

    • education

    • work experience

    • computer literacy

    • transportation

    • child care

    • clothing

  • Substance abuse issues

  • Mental health issues

  • Family disunity

  • Prejudice and stigma

  • Child support obligations

I was addicted to Heroin for 22 years and with that came a criminal lifestyle, which led to my conviction. Due to my background, I couldnt not successfully gain employment, that's until I came to The Help Center. Since I completed the program, I am no educated, know how to interact and conduct myself during interviews."

Jovanna Fontanez, Client