FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Miami’s Gang Alternative awarded $1.5 Million for rigorous reentry program for formerly incarcerated young adults in Little Haiti, Liberty City and City of Miami
One of only nine grant recipients in the US to receive US Department of Labor Funds
Miami, FL – July 7, 2017 — Gang Alternative, Inc. is the recipient of $1.5 million dollars in Department of Labor grants to support a re-entry program for formerly incarcerated young adults in Little Haiti, Liberty City and the City of Miami. One of only nine community-based organizations nationwide to receive dollars to develop a new program model focusing on assisting communities with high poverty and crime rates in planning and implementing comprehensive reentry programs for justice-involved young adults between ages 18-24. The Reentry Project (RP), which is funded under Section 212 of The Second Chance Act of 2007, will support individuals over the span of three years as they exit the corrections system. Persons discharged from prison face a multitude of challenges that impede their ability to lead sustainable, productive lives.
For the first year of operation, Gang Alternative and the MDC Juvenile Services Department estimated a pool of 1,929 eligible participants being released back into Liberty City, City of Miami and Little Haiti. The goal of Gang Alternative’s Reentry Program is to help justice-involved young adults in high-crime, high-poverty communities get better jobs and thus, greater family self-sufficiency by reducing barriers to securing and retaining jobs that pay a livable wage. The expected outcomes are increasing employability skills and employment placement via improved workplace preparedness, attainment of industry-recognized credentials for in-demand occupations in Miami-Dade County, as well as reduced criminal behavior risks through mentorship and navigational case management within 180 days of their initial release.
“It takes one influential person to impact the life of someone who lost their way,” says Michael Nozile, Executive Director of Gang Alternative. “When someone can’t work and make enough money to support their family or themselves, they’ll do whatever it takes to survive; crime goes up and the cycle continues. With funding through the Reentry Project, we can stop the cycle for nearly 2,000 people by broadening our capacity to mentor formerly incarcerated young adults. We have the opportunity through this US Department of Labor grant to help them become productive, contributing members of society through wrap around services.”
Organizations working in partnership with Gang Alternative to provide services to this population include the Lindsey Hopkins Technical College, D.A. Dorsey Technical College, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, New Horizons Community Mental Health Center, Legal Services of Greater Miami, Department of Corrections, City of Miami Police, The Village South, Better Way of Miami, Chrysalis Health, Borinquen Medical Centers, Neighbors and Neighbors Association, Miami Bridge Youth & Family Services, and Q&Q Research Consultants.
Gang Alternative, Inc has been working with young adults in inner cities for 12 years, creating pathways to adulthood including higher education, a productive career, and a stable, loving family-oriented life. These pathways serve as clear alternatives to youth violence, delinquency, substance abuse and gang involvement. Gang Alternative, Inc has been accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, an international recognition for its ongoing innovation and continued conformance to industry standards and to its focus on enhancing the quality of services and programs with a focus on the satisfaction of the persons served. Additionally, it is a Department of Children and Families Licensed Level 1 and 2 Prevention and Case Management provider and annually serves more than 1200 young adults and their families.