Founded in 1998 in Los Angeles, California, by Susan Burton, a former criminal justice client who has been clean and sober for 18 years, A New Way of Life Reentry Project provides transitional living for women who have recently been released from prison. Besides safe and secure housing, A New Way of Life Reentry Project also provides supportive services. Their mission is to help ex-cons break the cycle of confinement, and learn how to transform into productive members of society.
Accommodations and Amenities
A New Way of Life Reentry Project accommodates 31 women who are housed in five single-family homes in the South LA area. Residents are paired in comfortably furnished rooms with twin beds, a TV, closet space and dressers. The houses include a living room and fully equipped kitchen.
New Way of Life Reentry Project receives food donations from the local community. The women typically qualify for general relief and food stamp benefits, which helps stock the pantries and refrigerator with additional groceries. At A New Way of Life Reentry Project, clients prepare their own meals. This teaches them basic life skills.
Rules and Regulations
Potential clients usually contact Burton from prison to apply for a spot in the program. She receives an abundance of letters from incarcerated clients. After a period of correspondence that determines whether they are serious about their recovery, Burton usually goes to the prison upon a client’s release date and provides transport to the house. Registered sex offenders, women with domestic violence felonies or those convicted of manufacturing methamphetamines in Section 8 housing are not eligible. Additionally, a potential client must not have a Section 8 housing eviction within three years of an application. Length of stay is typically a year.
Clients must exhibit a strong willingness to work on themselves, focus on reuniting with loved ones and stay clean and sober. At A New Way of Life Reentry Project, the emphasis is on providing supportive services so that residents get back on their feet. The program is not highly structured and women are only required to attend an in-house 12-step meeting on Mondays, however, they are encouraged to attend more AA/NA meetings and work with sponsors.
At A New Way of Life Reentry Project, women are assisted with basic life tools, including getting a driver’s license. Other supportive services include individual therapy (if appropriate), peer support, vocational and educational guidance, case management, housing support, legal needs and lobbying efforts to help overcome prejudices against released criminal justice clients. Drug and alcohol testing is conducted, only if a client appears suspicious. The curfew is 10 pm seven days a week. Upon discharge from A New Way of Life Reentry Project, residents must reside with relatives or in Section 8 housing.
Susan Burton was featured on CNN’s Heroes in 2010, with a moving tribute by actress Marisa Tomei. A New Way of Life’s 17th Annual Gala and Awards on December 6, 2015, featured honoree Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black among other guests.
A New Way of Life Reentry Project is a member of the Sober Living Network, Los Angeles County Sober Living Coalition.
A New Way of Life Reentry Project reflects Susan Burton’s passion to help other women and her own courageous journey of overcoming her own chemical addiction. A New Way of Life Reentry Project is a diamond in the rough, a wonderful journey for a criminal justice client to undertake because the mission behind this house is that no matter what happened in the past, there is always hope for a new beginning.
A New Way of Life Reentry Project
836 East 91st St
Los Angeles, CA 90002
A New Way of Life Reentry Project Cost: 30 percent of income (30 days). Reach a New Way of Life Reentry Project by phone at (323) 563-3575 or by email. Find A New Way of Life Reentry Project at Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn
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