Making the transition to direct hire is a source of great pride

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The 70×7 Life Recovery-Grand Rapids Program Center remained consistently busy during the Second Quarter 2019 with client intakes, “Changes” Job Readiness Life Skills Training, and our on-going programing. Agencies and probation & parole offices are regularly referring clients to our program as well as area churches or through word-of-mouth referrals.

In April, we joined with Healing Communities – Stations of Hope and have enfolded their program, now re-named “70×7 Life Recovery – Restorative Hope.” We have been meeting with many non-profits, government agencies, churches, and other community partners to let others know of our work and to enhance our programing.

Seven cohorts of the Change Class (Change Your Story, Change Your Life!) graduated between April – June. Each class meets for two weeks, Monday – Thursday for 3 hours with additional time requirements for resume preparation, mock interviews and job readiness assessments (Serving Together). Upon graduation, participants are assisted with employment and mentoring. Classes are held consecutively. Community partners including Friend of the Court, Wyoming PD, business partners and other successful Change graduates make presentations to classes to encourage participants, network and answer questions as they work to successfully reenter the community.

During the second quarter, graduates of the Changes Class moved into the employment sector utilizing our in-house staffing agency, New Day Staffing (NDS). Participants who graduate and move into the employment phase typically find job placements quickly. Several graduates from previous Cohorts moved from temporary trial periods with NDS to direct hire full time employment during this quarter.

Making the transition to direct hire is a source of great pride for participants.

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In February 2019, we launched our new program: Stronger Together – Family Support Services. This group meets twice a month and provides an opportunity for the families and loved ones of those incarcerated to find a place of emotional support, education and connection.

Feedback from participants has been very positive and encouraging. We hope to see continued growth and to expand by adding childcare during meetings in the short term. We have had a lot of interest in this group from families, courts, probation & parole officers and other agencies as this is a need in our community that has not been met.

Submitted by Cheryl Wyma
Diaconal Ministry Report: Summer 2019