As a nonprofit, WIN Warehouse believes that a mission-minded organization can and will make a difference. That’s why we’re recognizing Criminal Justice Ministry (CJM), who have been WIN members since May 2018, as a success story. CJM’s mission is to improve our communities by supporting and empowering those impacted by incarceration.
A leader of the reentry services in the community, CJM has drastically lowered the recidivism rate of the formerly incarcerated. The numbers dropped from 66 percent nationally to 22 percent utilizing CJM programs. Programs that are responsible for these statistics include:
Provides housing and wrap-around services for 6 months to a year including:
- Release to Rent for men who have been incarcerated for 10+ years
- Release to Rent Veterans, which serves veterans with a history of criminal justice involvement
- Release to Rent LITE for single individuals who are further along in transition from prison but having trouble securing housing due to a previous conviction
FIRST (Foundational Incarceration Reentry Support Team) Services
Supports returning citizens by providing items to address immediate needs such as:
- Bus passes
- Emergency medication
- Hygiene items
- Referrals to services
Inside Ministry and Classes
Volunteers for CJM provide services to a transition center, 4 prisons, and 10 jails. Programs include classes such as anger management and creative writing, as well as prison ministry and a pen pal program.
Vets 4 Pets
Vets 4 Pets is a voluntary program for the housing clients to learn business skills and to create goods to sell, like pet treats and scarves for dogs. All proceeds serve veterans in need.
“Since 1979, CJM has served individuals who are reentering the community after periods of incarceration,” said Gwen Smith from CJM. “Helping clients obtain and maintain employment is a critical component of CJM’s reentry process. CJM is proud to partner with WIN Warehouse in supplying clients with the work supplies that they need to succeed.”
WIN’s Relationship with CJM
While CJM has received stacking chairs for their new office space, our favorite stories come from the clients coming in to WIN Warehouse for job readiness. WIN has worked with CJM to create a voucher for their clients to receive steel or composite toe boots for jobs. We’ve outfitted 82 clients for their new starts in the past year. If they’d received the same boots at retail, only about 20 percent of them would be employed for the same cost. Not only do we help them serve more, but we also get the opportunity to learn first-hand about their clients. We’ve had a handful of life-changing experiences that we never would have had without this relationship including:
- Referring a client to other programs we work with and hearing of the follow-through that same afternoon
- Hearing from a client how exciting it is to be able to work a job they never imagined having before at a pay that seems unreal
- The first-hand experience of a client asking for an extra bag and then picking up all of the trash outside our building
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: we are thankful for the opportunity to work with Criminal Justice Ministry.
Interested in learning more? Call CJM at (314) 652-8062 or visit them online at www.cjmstlouis.org. If you’re a nonprofit organization and are curious about how you can benefit from WIN’s help, contact us at (314) 385-3006!