The economic impact of Transitional Options for Women is widespread in the Roanoke Valley. As Roanoke’s first women-only non-profit transitional home, the women coming out of prison or jail have the opportunity to have safe housing while learning the emotiaonal, nutritional, social, physical and environmental skills needed to help them become employable and successful people in our community. Sadly most people who have been incarcerated have few opportunities to be successful without community support, upon release. Many don’t have the skill sets, communication skills or financial understanding, so they resort back to their previous poor habits and social groups. This of course causes them to dive into a downward spin instead of strengthening them as individuals who are resourceful and valueable to a community. We offer a safe living environment that reduces recidivism. In turn, we are not only providing growth and stability for the area and surrounding neighborhoods, but we will be instrumental in keeping our families and children safer and providing employment opportunities for area residents.
Within the state of Virginia, no transitional facility exists within 300 miles. As a result, overcrowding in less desireable facilities becomes an issue. Transitional Options for Women provides women with a stable and affordable housing to help them feel good about reentering into society.
According to the Department of Corrections calculations, it costs over $25,000 a year for each incarcerated person. It costs far less to help people stay out of the system! There is a potential for four out of ten incarcerated people to reoffend and reenter the prison system. Women who don’t have family support either end up as homeless individuals, rely upon community shelters for essentials, or they reoffend and return back into the system. This is why it’s so important for these women to learn to empower themselves and live an independent life with goals of becoming the best they can be.
The Department of Corrections - District 15 has been a huge supporter of Transitional Options for Women because they recognize the need for transitional services in order for these women to be successful as they reestablish their place in the community. The chances for them to reoffend will drop dramatically. Governor Terry McAuliffie was quoted as saying, “Long-term public safety is critical to Virginia’s future. This reduction in recidivism means our children are safer, our state is more attractive to businesses, and we are returning offenders to their communities better prepared to be productive, contributing citizens.”
Transitional Options for Women offers ladies an eight-step program that includes:
· Independent life skills – responsible living, self-respect, self-dependency, responsibility
· Vocation training - new skillsets, self-confidence, soft skills, employment prep
· Substance abuse – identify negative triggers, responsibly attend support meetings, obtain sponsors, respect no tolerance rules
· Personal development – social interaction, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, appropriate behavior and dress, acceptance of expectations of others and self
· Community involvement and volunteerism – learn the importance of giving, mentoring, building their support network, utilizing community resources
· Financial independence – handling money and resources responsibly, learn to become financially stable and set financial goals for the future (from local Freedom First representative)
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