In 2014, the St. Vincent de Paul Cincinnati Council was selected to pilot a new five-year collaborative Re-entry Program for citizens returning to the community following incarceration. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an anti-poverty program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is helping to fund our program as well as pilot programs in Boston, Milwaukee, New Orleans and Orlando.
Together with the Cincinnati Archdiocese, the HELP Program and the Amos Project, Dominic Duren, St. Vincent de Paul’s Re-entry Program Coordinator, is helping to educate the community about the barriers to employment faced by returning citizens. A major goal of the program is to foster community collaboration in support of positive change, and recruit and train community volunteers as mentors.
St. Vincent de Paul is offering the Dismas Journey, an interactive 90-minute conversation about incarceration, barriers to re-entry faced by returning citizens and ways that employers can grow their business by giving people a second chance, to any interested group. The Dismas Journey is named for Saint Dismas, the “good thief” who was crucified next to Jesus.
SVDP Re-entry Program Priorities:
- Educate the community on barriers faced by returning citizens, including facilitating the Dismas Journey
- Mobilize St. Vincent de Paul conferences and Vincentians to volunteer and get involved in the program. SVDP has more than 900 Vincentian volunteers making home visits in neighborhoods throughout Hamilton County.
- Recruit community volunteers for hands-on, meaningful direct service to support returning citizens and their families.
- Provide returning citizens and their families with basic needs assistance in support of their efforts to re-establish self-sufficiency.
- Administer a basic needs fund to provide assistance.
- Foster community collaboration between returning citizens, service providers, community organizations, employers, local government, faith-based groups and other stakeholders in support of positive change.
- Collaborate with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, AMOS, the HELP Program, the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, Nehemiah Manufacturing, the Hamilton County Office of Re-entry, and others connect SVDP volunteers and Dismas Journey participants with campaigns in support of returning citizens.
For more information about the St. Vincent de Paul Re-entry Program, the Dismas Journey or becoming a volunteer please email Dominic Duren at dduren@SVDPcincinnati.org or call 513-562-8851.