Women’s Committee aids Journey to a New Life

By Erica Eckart

The Women’s Committee is back at it again with their goal to provide support to our local organizations within the community. This month they’ve partnered up with an organization called Journey To New Life inc. which is an organization focused on second chance avenues for those who are coming out of prison and in need of resources to help them transition back into society.

This organization was founded in 2013 after seven individuals, each with a substantial history and experience working with reentry programs, came together to share their experiences,discuss challenges ,and ultimately come up with ways they could significantly help these individuals become productive members of society.

According to statistics, when a formerly incarcerated person, regardless of their circumstances, is successfully reintegrated into the community, they are less likely to commit new crimes or create new victims which makes focusing on reentry programs a good thing for everyone.

One of the things that society doesn’t discuss is the corruption of the justice system as a whole, and why 95% of women in the prison system are incarcerated because they dated someone who sold drugs or was associated with similar crimes. In a lot of cases, these women are not responsible for the actual crime itself but are doing a significant amount of time behind bars just for knowing about it.

The Journey To New Life Organization seeks to provide re-entry opportunities and fundamental resources needed to help provide individuals with a second chance at life for both men and women. The Women’s Committee has become an advocate for this organization and has navigated ways to combine causes with another organization called Mothers Refuge. The Women’s Committee has become the go-between for both these organizations in an effort to combine resources for those individuals in need of assistance whether it be clothing, housing, furniture, help obtaining required credentials such as a driver’s license and birth certificate, help with bills, job certifications, education, resumes and so much more.

Journey To New life is not just focused on women, they help mentoo. Despite recent reforms, the United States still incarcerates 698 people per 100,000 residents, more than any other country. Compared to that number, the women’s incarceration rate of 133 per 100,000 seems quaint. But it’s the highest incarceration rate for women in the world.

“It’s really nice to be able to help people out” says Danielle Evens, member of the Women’s Committee. “This place focuses on prison re-entry and home plans but if anyone comes to the door fresh off the street, prison or not, they don’t turn anyone away. I think the biggest thing to take away from this and women’s refuge, is never judge a book by its cover and it’s never too late to have a fresh start. That’s why I chose to volunteer because I was seventeen and pregnant and I understand first hand the struggles women face.”

“This is my first time here doing the Journey to New Life thing,” said Macy Harris, member of the Women’s Committee. “My experience with this place has been an amazing one so far. This thrift store they have down here is completely free for them. They are able to come in and pick clothes, toiletries, furniture, and even household items like bed sheets. We come in and sort clothes and we help take the overflow of clothes to the Good Will so that they aren’t coming in and looking through the same clothes all the time.”

It is well known that Local 249 believes in opportunities for those who need them most. in some cases, that may be our own members. Special thanks to the Women’s Committee for your persistent advocacy for those in need throughout the community, and your willingness to put forth the necessary efforts to help
people no matter their background or situation. If you would like to volunteer or join a committee, you can reach us by calling the hall at 816-454-6333, or apply on the UAW app under UAW standing committee sign up.