The women’s program is in the Dean House, at 110 Old South High Street, near downtown Harrisonburg.
Women residents learning how to weave baskets during an enrichment activity session.
After the announcement of a $750,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice late last year, Gemeinschaft Home has spent the past 9 months in the planning phase of the project funded by the grant—Gemeinschaft Home Re-entry Opportunities for Women (GROW)—an expanded version of the residential and day reporting services program for women currently in operation at 110 Old South High Street in Harrisonburg.
Starting in February, Gemeinschaft Home staff members began a series of regular meetings with community partners, including local probation and supervision, program evaluators, and other stakeholders to flesh out the new program’s design, referral pipeline, intake/discharge processes, and the resources needed (which includes hiring additional positions and confirming collaborative service agreements with community partners) to launch the program officially in the coming months.
Over the summer, and after formal budget approval, a team of consultant/researchers, including Amanda Teye, Ph.D., Lili Peaslee, Ph.D., and Jennifer Jacovitch, Ph.D., worked closely with technical advisors through the Bureau of Justice Assistance to craft a Planning & Implementation Guide, which lays out the structure of the three-year grant period, establishing the goals, objectivities, activities, and desired outcomes for the grant project.
The team also worked to develop a database to generate de-identified (private) aggregate data about program participants and performance for research and reporting purposes. This effort will enable Gemeinschaft Home to become a reliable source of data for community stakeholders, academic scholars, and advocates for social and policy change within the criminal justice system.
As the planning phase comes to an end this fall, and Gemeinschaft Home makes final preparations to serve a larger cohort of female program participants, we look forward to sharing future updates on the progress of this project that will offer more women in the local community the opportunity to live better and connect with the resources and services they need most.