Kelly Dame Updated 7:48 am EDT, Thursday, July 19, 2018
An organization built to ensure community safety by supporting inmates returning to the community has garnered extra grant support.
Rob Worsley, executive director of Midland Community Former Offenders Advocacy and Rehabilitation, said the nonprofit recently received $45,000 in grants and gifts.
MCFOAR applied last year for a Community Impact Grant from the Midland Area Community Foundation and has been awarded $30,000 for housing assistance and workforce development programs. Worsely said MCFOAR also received a Dow Chemical Donor Advised Grant for $10,000 to assist with the same programs.
The final $5,000 was in the form of a gift from the Ladies of Blessed Sacrament, who give to a community organization each year, Worsley said.
“We are continuing to grow,” Worsely said of the nonprofit, which is in its sixth year of ensuring community safety by supporting inmates returning to the community with housing, employment and more.
That growth includes making a strategic plan through the Community Advancement Network, which works with nonprofits in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The cost of the planning has been covered, in part by a $5,000 grant from the Patricia and David Kepler Foundation.
MCFOAR has hired a part-time, female staff member to assist with female offenders, Worsely said, adding about 20 percent of the clients coming to the office are women.
The number of clients coming in continues to grow as well, with the office handling 750 client files total since the organization began in January 2013. Last year brought the addition of 115 new clients, which is a bit down from 141 clients assisted in 2016.
There have been 63 new clients so far this year.
More than 220 have been assisted with housing, and Worsley has been building connections with area employers.
“We’re almost getting to the point where we have more jobs to fill than clients,” he said. More than 360 clients have been placed with employment.
Worsley added that as of May7, MCFOAR has received 138 former inmates and from May 7,2015, to May 7,2018, only four of those clients are back in prison.