Hour Children's mission is to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children successfully rejoin the community, reunify with their families, and build healthy, independent, and secure lives. To accomplish this, Hour Children provides compassionate and comprehensive services and encourages all to live and interact with dignity and respect. Our vision is to end the inter-generational cycle of incarceration.
Prison-based programming is provided at Bedford Hills and Taconic Correctional Facilities, and also at Rikers Island. A key aspect of our efforts is to help maintain contact between mothers and their children. These programs include: free transportation and visitation services with welcoming, child-friendly playrooms; a multi-day summer day camp for mothers and children; parenting education; advocacy services; a mother and teen program; mental health support for women, children, and families; and, management of New York State’s only prison-based nursery where children born to incarcerated mothers can live for up to 18 months.
Community-based services are offered primarily at our base in Long Island City, with housing provisions also located in Astoria, Corona, Flushing, and Richmond Hill. These services include transitional and permanent supportive housing residences; a job training and workforce reentry program for formerly incarcerated women; case management and mental health support; pre- and post-release adult mentoring; a citywide mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents; childcare that includes a fully-licensed daycare center and an after-school program, both of which enable mothers to receive job training or go to work, internships, or school; a teen support group, offering social, recreational, educational, and cultural activities and enrichment; a “client-choice, supermarket-style” food pantry open to all community residents; and two thrift shops.