Recently, Ro and I visited LINC - Leading Into New Communities, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides transitional living and case management services for men and women returning from prison. They also work with specific youth development services for African American young men ages 16-24. They focus on educating and motivating their clients to make more positive life choices and learn to be productive members of the community.
Their Residential Re-Entry Program provides transitional housing, job training, and support for education. LINC also provides treatment for substance abuse and also provides health, and medical services. These services are provided for up to 18 months for individuals recently released from state or federal prisons, or local jails. Through partnering with Coastal Horizons, LINC is now able to provide housing for women with children while they are participating in the 18-month program.
All residents participate in a minimum of 60 days of work experience and job training around the facility and in two or more of LINC, Inc.'s Social Enterprises, coupled with three days a week of The Courage to Change, cognitive-behavioral, interactive journaling curriculum. Residents receive employability and entrepreneurship training to help them overcome many of the obstacles facing formerly incarcerated people.
While there, they are taught job skills, resume writing, and many work on getting their GED and/or post-secondary educations.
Recently, LINC, Inc. started an ‘urban farm’ where skills that can be transferred into opportunities for employment are taught. Some of the produce raised on this farm is lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and collards, just to name a few. Local restaurants purchase much of this produce directly from the farm and local community residents can place orders online for these items.
Added just recently to their urban farming are approximately 20 hens, providing yet another stream of income for LINC, Inc., and one beehive which produces quite a bit of honey, also for sale. The eggs are for sale at $3.50 per dozen, and in later May, the vegetables and honey will be available for sale. We'll get the purchase information to you in next month's Holy Crossings.
Ro and I were very impressed with the progress LINC, Inc. has made since our visit there last year. They are doing good work with a segment of our community’s population that falls between the cracks of society far too often. We are proud that Holy Cross is able to support such an amazing facility, especially in the existing financial climate of our times.