Connections For Life
Connections For Life is a program providing services that allow women to change their lives for themselves and their children. The Connections For Life program is a 501(c)3 that was founded in February 2000. The program is a twelve month re-entry and transitional housing program for women coming primarily from prison but also serves women coming from battered women's shelters, homelessness and treatment centers. However, almost without exception all of the women the program serves have at one time or another been convicted of a felony and are working to overcome the challenges that accompany their past actions. The program provides each woman an efficiency apartment, clothing, food, transportation, employment placement assistance, life-skill training, financial management assistance, access to medical and mental health care and family re-unification assistance as needed. Connections is a very structured environment with a high level of accountability. All program participants are required to attend recovery meetings, submit to random drug screens and apartment searches, maintain a budget and savings account and perform volunteer hours.
Connections For Life operates a social enterprise effort, a thrift store. The store is one of the primary funding sources for the program's operational needs and also employs one of the program residents as the Assistant Manager. The program also operates a food pantry in partnership with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. The thrift store and food pantry are purposefully geographically located in an area of need in the community. This allows Connections For Life and the women the program serves to give back to their neighbors while meeting some of the program's operational funding needs.
The program staff meets the majority of the women they serve while the woman is still incarcerated. After her release from prison, she joins the program and the real work of re-building her life begins. Connections expects much from the women they serve while at the same time provides guidance, education, structure, discipline, support and hope to each woman. The program has many success stories some of which include a woman who was incarcerated for over thrifty (30) years, came to Connections For Life where she was assisted with re-entry and then the starting of her own upholstery business. Another graduate was also assisted with starting a janitorial business and she now employs some of the Connections For Life residents. Yet another graduate recently started classes at the University of New Orleans and is seeking a degree in Geology.
Connections For Life addresses the holistic needs of each woman and works to help her reach realistic goals for herself that allow her to provide for herself, her children and to become a productive member of her community.
Mission To help women who are coming from prison learn to help themselves and become independent, productive members of their community.