Gemeinschaft Home Receives Federal Grant to Support Formerly Incarcerated Women and to Reduce Recidivism in the Local Community
New funding will expand services and enrollment in the residential program for women launched in February 2021
Harrisonburg, Virginia — The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded a $750,000 grant to Gemeinschaft Home, a nonprofit located in Harrisonburg serving adult men and women who have been recently released—or diverted—from incarceration. Working with professors Amanda Teye and Lili Peaslee, and students in the master’s of public administration program at James Madison University, and public relations coordinator Jennifer Jacovitch, Gemeinschaft Home submitted the grant application in May 2021, with the award announced in late December.
The new federal funding, disbursed over three years, will support the Gemeinschaft Reentry Opportunities for Women (GROW) project—a six-month program for female (ex)offenders in the local area that combines residential and non-residential services aimed at helping them transition back into the community. The GROW project will expand program offerings and number of participants in Gemeinschaft Home’s current women’s home, opened in early 2021, and will help Gemeinschaft Home be a model for prison re-entry programs, particularly those serving women, throughout Virginia.
The program is designed to lower the likelihood of re-incarceration and to enable participants to gain the necessary tools for independent living, including individual case management, employment assistance, evidence-based life-recovery curricula, and referral access to mental health and substance abuse interventions.
Administered through the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance, this grant was made possible by the Second Chance Act (SCA), signed into law in 2008 and reauthorized in 2018 to support state, local and tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations, in their work to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prisons, local jails and juvenile facilities.
Established in 1985, Gemeinschaft Home began as a residential, transitional facility for adult individuals who have been released from incarceration and have a probation obligation with the Virginia Department of Corrections. While maintaining the residential re-entry program contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia for (ex)offenders for over three decades, Gemeinschaft Home has continued to grow through partnerships with regional jails facilities and the Rockingham-Harrisonburg Court Services Unit and now operates homes in two locations—1423 Mt. Clinton Pike (men’s facilities) and 110 Old South High Street (women’s facilities). Last year the organization served more than 300 individuals across all programs.
For more information, contact Jennifer Jacovitch at email@example.com.