City Of Refuge Transitional Center
City of Refuge Transitional Center, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Missouri and is beginning with a grassroots effort to create an organization to:
1) Serve men and women who are returning to the community from incarceration or other involvement with the justice system through the provision of basic needs (e.g. food, clothing, shelter, and transportation) and those individuals that are homeless or struggling with low-income;
2) Create a welcoming community of mentors, staffed by trained volunteers charged to provide one on one emotional support and encouragement to the participants during the period of transition back to the community;
3) Provide professional case-management for participants to establish goals, identify strengths and needs, and develop connections to mainstream supportive services that may be required for participants to become successful and productive citizens.
4) Reduce the number of individuals/households who become homeless;
5) Shorten the length of time an individual/household is homeless;
6) Reduce the number of individuals/households that return to homelessness;
7) Prevent people at risk from becoming homeless.
The population we serve consists of individuals with mental health disorders; problems with substance abuse; histories of emotional, physical, mental, and sexual abuse; human trafficking; bullying; being part of the LGBTQ+ community; domestic violence; sexual identity issues; being released from incarceration, and any situation that would place someone in a homeless state, or state where they were unable to locate employment, housing, food, transportation, or hygiene items.
The majority of the individuals we see being released from incarceration have become part of the criminal justice system because of a problem with substance abuse, mental health disorders, or a past trauma.
When a formerly incarcerated person, regardless of their circumstances, successfully reintegrates into the community, they are less likely to commit new crimes — or create new victims. So it’s good for everyone.
Thanks to the extensive re-entry and restorative justice experience of the staff and Board along with a generous community of donors who make it all possible, City of Refuge Transitional Center, Inc. will grow and expanded quickly. This vision began in 2016 and the first goal for us to to raise enough funds through private granting foundations, government grants, donations, and through fundraising efforts, to being one of four phases:
Working with the State of Missouri, we have an intensive intake process to determine individual needs, assign each individual a case manager who will set goals and establish a plan for each client. That plan may include housing at a treatment center, the local shelter, halfway house, or help the individual reunite with healthy family ties and work together to create a home plan. We will provide referrals for mental health treatments, therapy, medication management, life skills training, food assistance, and any number of other needs that our client may require. We walk each individual through the process of obtaining a birth certificate, social security card, and State ID or drivers license.
Each client will have education counseling with our team to determine what educational goals they need to meet (obtaining HiSet, etc.); we discuss options for careers of interest and assist them in meeting those goals by obtaining funding through private foundations, grants, and the governments’ FAFSA application; we will get them enrolled in a college or trade school and continue to monitor their progress, assist with tutoring, and making sure they stay on track and overcome any hurdles. We have relationships with Vocational Rehabilitation and the regional schools that help streamline this process.
Once educational or trade school needs are met we begin employment counseling. We teach classes on interviewing techniques and provide mock interviews; we complete job skill assessments, teach individuals how to use the internet to complete job searches and how to complete in-person applications and interviews, and we teach and assist with resume construction. We have developed relationships with many local employers that are eager and willing to hire individuals that are in recovery or may have a criminal history.
We currently teach various courses to individuals that always include; “Courage for My Life” (we offer a separate course for men and women), “Life Skills”, Financial Management”, “Anger Management”, and “Job Skills Workshops”. We also have other courses that we offer on a rotating schedule (and change periodically) that include: “
OVERLOAD: “How to Unplug, Unwind, and Unleash Yourself from the Pressures of Stress”
THE POWER OF THANK YOU: “Learning to Discover the Joy of Gratitude”
BE TRUTHFUL: “50 days to Defeat the Things that Try to Defeat You”
TEN WOMEN OF THE BIBLE: “A Great Study for Women to Learn about Empowerment and Self-Worth”
HEALING THE SOUL: “How to Overcome our Emotional Wounds”
FORGIVE: “Learn How to Take Control of Your Life Through Forgiveness”
DO IT AFRAID: “Embracing Courage in the Face of Fear”
GRIEF SHARE: “Grief and Loss Support”
We are in the process of looking into hosting AA, NA, and Celebrate Recovery Meetings.
By Fall 2023 it is our hope to have the housing portion of our organization in operation. This will include separate facilities for housing men and women that are releasing from incarceration and re-entering back into society and who will take part in our 2 phase program that will be divided into (2) 6-month programs that will include everything that Phase 1 offers, but that will also provide comfortable residential housing within our center(s). A second facility will open strictly as a safe house for women and children of domestic violence. We also plan on a separate facility that will be an emergency crisis shelter.
By Summer 2024, City of Refuge will be opening up several local business (Restaurant, Retail Store, etc.) that will serve the community and will also train and hire all staff in various fields of food service (Back and Front of the House; including management). This will provide residents with new job skills and references as they move into their independent lives. We will also be opening a form of thrift store or retail location (the exact scope of this location has not been finalized) where individuals not interested in food service can still learn customer service and retail sales skills.