Reentry Resource Center to help people on parole
(Editor’s note: The new Reentry Resource Center at Mather now offers weekly face-to-face help for registered participants. A recent resource fair helped highlight the center.)
Franklin Stowers, 24 years old and just out of prison, was on a mission.
Stowers was among nearly 300 people who visited a recent reentry fair in Sacramento County. More than 90 vendors provided assistance with housing, employment, legal services and more.
“I’ve got to get a job ASAP,” Stowers explained. He then smiled and showed a handful of papers. “I have three good referrals. And I learned about community college certificates for technology.”
The Oct. 20 event was jointly hosted by:
- CDCR Division of Adult Parole Operations-Northern Region (DAPO)
- Division of Rehabilitative Programs (DRP)
- and Sacramento Community Based Coalition (SCBC).
“We want to provide stabilization and navigation services – everything is here,” said Jessica Fernández, a unit chief for DRP’s Community Reentry Services. “Everyone is working to make sure their transition into the community is successful.”
The event also served to launch the grand opening of the Reentry Resource Center at the Mather Airport site. Starting on Oct. 31, multiple vendors will provide weekly face-to-face assistance to registered participants. The Reentry Resource Center will be located at 10170 Missile Way in Mather.
“It’s all about providing a continuum of care,” Fernández said.
The theme of the Adult Reentry fair was “Success…Make it Happen!” and Parole Agent Kim Moore was key to making this event a success. Moore was determined to make this the most successful event yet. Similar adult reentry fairs have been coordinated by DAPO to kick off Reentry Resource Centers in Alameda, Los Angeles, and San Joaquin counties over the past year. More are on the way.
At the Sacramento County Adult Reentry fair, participants could pick up gently-used clothing, collect fresh produce, and get a haircut. CDCR’s Office of Victims Services helped answer questions about restitution payments.
The Department’s Transitional Case Management Program walked people through applying for Medi-Cal, Social Security, and Veterans Administration benefits. The Board of Parole Hearings representatives answered questions about its process.
Many booths provided information about transitional housing options. CDCR has created housing and rehabilitation programs for parolees to improve their outcomes upon release. One option is places such as River City Recovery Center, which provides housing along with a comprehensive net of services that include substance use disorder treatment, family reunification counseling, and employment skills.
There was a crowd in front of the Laborer Local 185 booth. Union representatives explained their two-year paid apprenticeship programs in courses such as welding, forklift operation, and pipe-laying. CEO Works was popular too. The organization provides employment leads and job-seeking help with resumes.
At another booth, Michele Dalby, 50, was grinning when she attached the “I registered to Vote Today” sticker to her t-shirt. “I’ve never voted, never been registered,” Dalby said.
Dalby’s voting milestone was aided by two Sacramento County Office of Education employees who help connect formerly incarcerated people with important resources. They were smiling too.
In 2020, voters approved Proposition 17, allowing those on parole for felony convictions to vote despite their supervision status.
“I’m so excited to be doing this,” said Evelyn Fonseca, a transitional specialist. “It’s important that people here register and use their vote. It helps them become part of the community.”
Story by Terri Hardy, Public Information Officer II
Photos by Rob Stewart, TV Specialist, unless otherwise noted.