Volunteers don't have the time, they have the heart.
“Make no mistake about, our volunteers—whether on the inside of a prison or on the outside in their communities—are extraordinary people. Without them, none of this would be possible.”
Joe McDonald | Executive Director
Peer Education is a program available in many Arizona State prisons where specially trained and certified inmates volunteer their time to assist in a number of different capacities, including health education, class facilitation, and one-on-one mentoring. GCHH believes that addressing issues of addiction and criminal thinking, as well as educating people on various topics, including health, nutrition, and money management, starting during their incarceration is a keystone to an ex-offender’s successful reintegration to society. The Peer Education program, backed by the GCHH non-profit, makes this possible.
GCHH works with other organizations that provide resources to special needs groups, including ex-offenders.
The primary duty for a GCHH ex-offender volunteer is to document and share his or her interactions with the many organizations that provide resource opportunities for inmates upon their release. GCHH ex-offender volunteers also help compile new information that can be added to the list of resources provided to offenders prior to their release. Additionally, they make themselves available for community betterment activities, such as our ongoing participation with the American Cancer Society/Relay for Life events, Restore to Life, Inc. Employment Placement Services, and other similar activities for local nonprofit ventures.
GCHH volunteers learn important lessons and skills in resource gathering and networking. Their service hours to the non-profit are documented, and they are the first candidates considered for any available job opportunities.
Although none are available now, GCHH is working on creating paid opportunities in the future.
To address the problem of recidivism, GCHH is spearheading an effort called the TRS Reentry Initiative. The TRS Reentry Initiative is a proposed project that will provide intensive full-service transitional support for early-release offenders in Arizona.
Support begins one year prior to release and continues for one year after release. The first year includes one-on-one mentorship from certified Peer Educators who guide the participants through carefully chosen evidence-based classes and activities. The second year of support begins with housing, employment, health insurance, transportation, educational opportunities, substance abuse programming, and food.
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