By LINDA M. LINONIS
Home for Good Re-Entry Resource Referral Center opened Tuesday at the new ACTION office at 20 Federal Place Suite MB.
About 40 people gathered to applaud Home for Good and view the new site of the Alliance for Congregational Transformation Influencing our Neighborhoods.
Home for Good is a “one-stop center” of resources for returning citizens — that is, formerly incarcerated individuals.
Rose Carter, ACTION executive director, said the office moved from 5235 South Ave. to downtown “to be more centrally located.” She said the location will make it easier for the community and Home for Good participants to access.
“We saw the need,” she said. “We’re investing in returning citizens to help them have productive lives in society.”
Patrick Kerrigan is Home for Good’s executive director, a volunteer position. Carter said Kerrigan was asked to serve because of his dozen years on ACTION’s crime and safety committee. ACTION won’t provide services but will be the conduit.
Kerrigan said Home for Good will provide “an efficient and easy access” to resources. “It will help returning citizens, but it also will be a more-efficient way to use resources available.”
The network of resources for returning citizens exists, Carter said, but there has been no coordinated effort to provide information on education, job training, housing, transportation, food, clothing and drug and alcohol counseling. Home for Good does that.
“The way to deliver services must be more efficient,” Kerrigan said, adding that will “reduce societal impact ... cost... and stop the grab-bag of welfare.”
The Rev. Ed Noga, ACTION vice president, said it’s the role of the group “to present” opportunities to local government and community organizations.
ACTION received a $15,000 grant from Youngstown Foundation to get the project started. ACTION will be the fiscal agent of the project and apply for grants. Lola Simmons is re-entry coordinator.
ACTION, a grass-roots community organization, seeks to unite faith groups, schools, neighborhood organizations, tenant councils and other non-profits to work for social justice.
Contact ACTION at 330-782-7433.