Support group forming for ex-prisoners

Yavneh and St. Mark’s seek to help released women

St. Mark’s and Yavneh plan to form a pilot reentry support circle with Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women.

Many women – particularly those for whom drugs and substance use led to their convictions – risk re-engagement with their previous lifestyles if they return home. Some choose to stay in Raleigh for that reason. However, according to a March 2014 report on the impact of incarceration on families and the women who sustain them, cost and discrimination Interfaith Prison Ministry For Womenare the top barriers to finding housing after release from prison, and in Raleigh, much of the low income and affordable housing that formerly incarcerated women depend on is being sold to private developers.

Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women (IPMW) and Catholic Charities of Raleigh have joined forces to address this important issue. We need eight to ten persons to be in  relationship with a woman for 12 to 18 months. At present we have five people from St. Mark’s and one from Yavneh.

This provides an opportunity for us to practice our faith in a tangible way. Through a Reentry Support Circle we will share ourselves and cooperate with other congregations as a part of an effort to reduce recidivism and assist women, one person at a time, build a new life.

Meeting set for Aug. 23

A first meeting (combined information session, lunch and first training) at St. Mark’s is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 23, from 10am to 3 pm in our Community Life Center.

To become a part of this support group or for additional information, contact Sara Stohler at 919-821-4338 or Stohler00@gmail.com. You may come to this first meeting just to learn more without making a definite commitment.