Mayor Joe Ganim joined Congressman Jim Himes, Career Resources, The WorkPlace, City Councilmember Ernie Newton, and Mayor’s Initiative for Reentry Affairs (MIRA) to announce that the children of 125 incarcerated parents will be supported by Bridgeport Families First, a MIRA program that received a $680,486 grant from the Office of Justice Programs.
CT Post reporter Michael Mayko has more here.
City news release:
Mayor Ganim joined Congressman Himes, Career Resources President & CEO Scott Wilderman, The Workplace President & CEO Joe Carbone, City Councilmember Ernie Newton, and Mayor’s Initiative for Reentry Affairs (MIRA) Director Earl Bloodworth to announce that the MIRA program has received a $680,486 grant from the Office of Justice Programs. The funds will be used for “Bridgeport Families First” (BFF), a new program to address challenges faced by children of incarcerated parents.
The BFF program will connect incarcerated parents and their minor children with a series of interventions and programs designed to address the challenges families face during incarceration and the reentry process. The program is expected to serve at least 125 incarcerated parents, one non-incarcerated family member (minimum of 125), and up to 375 child clients over a period of 3 years.
“If there is anything that results in success, it’s collaboration. This MIRA program and the organizations that are recipients or supporting it has put Bridgeport in a place to begin to address the needs of men and women reentering and trying to start their lives again,” stated Mayor Ganim. “But really focusing on the children of parents that have been incarcerated … Your children, no matter who you are, or where you are, are your priority.”
Congressman Himes stated, “This is a moment worth us coming together to celebrate. That money is about giving people the support they need for their second act to become leaders and to contribute in a very meaningful way to our society. And, we’re going to help you get back on your feet.”
MIRA Director Earl Bloodworth stated, “When individuals are coming out for reentry, we are treating not just that individual. We are treating their families and the entire community through our partnership with Career Resources, City Council, the vision of the Mayor Ganim, the Workplace, and many other partners.
Career Resources President & CEO Scott Wilderman stated, “We are going to change the face of reentry for the City of Bridgeport. Career Resources has been involved in reentry for nearly 25 years, currently operating four half-way houses. Through this grant, we will be able to create family centers in those half-way houses.”
The Workplace President & CEO Joe Carbone stated, “When you put it all together, we can say to those who are coming to us for these services, ‘We got your back.’ We got the resources and the talent to keep you connected for as long as it takes to not only get a job but to get a career and improve second chance at life.”
In partnership with Career Resources, MIRA will utilize the grant to increase economic stability/financial stability, continued employment, financial literacy programs, and social programming for families with children impacted by an incarcerated parent.