Summer | 2017
PATHWAYS
A quarterly e-newsletter from Renewal, Inc.

 
    Summer is finally here and as you walk around Downtown Pittsburgh, you can’t help but notice the men and women populating our streets who look in desperate need of help of one kind or another.  They’re with us all year round but certainly more visible when the weather gets warm.   And sadly, statistically-speaking, we have to assume that some of these individuals are part of the region’s growing opioid epidemic. As I’m sure you’re aware, virtually no region in the nation has escaped the tragedy of the opioid epidemic. Pennsylvania experienced the sixth highest death rate in the nation in 2015 at 26.3 deaths per 100,000. In 2016, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reported there were 4,642 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania, with 649 of those occurring in Allegheny County, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner. At the same time, the state’s jails and prisons are crowded with individuals who have drug offenses. According to the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics, as many as 75% of inmates in the Allegheny County Jail have drug and/or alcohol or mental illness issues, and 48% have both. An important question facing all of us is what resources are available to help these individuals prepare for life after prison? Renewal, Inc. is on the front lines of this issue, and has been since 1976, delivering a comprehensive range of addiction treatment and behavioral health services for individuals, known as reentrants, who are transitioning back to their communities and families. Through our efforts, individuals who have passed through our doors have worked hard to create better lives for themselves.  Whether through providing evidence-based programs and services, education or work opportunities, we’re proud of the help we’re able to provide. Read more in this newsletter about how we want to expand and enhance our services and be part of a bold effort to address the state’s opioid crisis with the launch of Renewing Hope for a Better Future capital campaign.  We believe this effort will change lives.  As always, I welcome your thoughts, feedback and ideas.

Thank you, and regards,    
Doug Williams
President and CEO Renewal, Inc.

For more information visit: www.renewalinc.com
PA Attorney General Office Leadership Visits Renewal

     Last month leadership from the Office of Public Engagement, under Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s direction, came to Pittsburgh to meet with key executives and staff of Renewal and tour the organization’s facilities. Recently, Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro announced the formation of the Pennsylvania Reentry Council, a statewide initiative to help former prison inmates navigate the challenges of finding housing, work and healthcare and stop the trend of inmates being freed from prison, committing new crimes and returning to jail.  Representatives of the Office of Public Engagement had an opportunity to see first-hand the services Renewal provides, share ideas and find common ground and solutions.  Following the visit, Renewal president and CEO Doug Williams was invited to collaborate on the Reentry Council’s efforts to help men and women make lasting changes in their lives for the better.  

Community Partner Profile

Mary Frances Archey
Ed.D./NCC Executive Director for Strategic College Initiatives Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)  

The faculty and staff at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) are big believers in the power of education to change people’s lives.  This is perhaps never truer than the work we do in partnering with Renewal, Inc.   Helping men and women who have experienced incarceration learn how to re-integrate through support, programs and education is critical for them and the over-all well-being of the community.    This goal matches the mission of CCAC to provide a high quality, affordable and accessible education that is focused on student success for everyone in the communities we serve.   CCAC supports the important work Renewal does in a variety of ways, including making returning individuals know that they are welcome at the college, increasing the awareness of educational opportunities in the area, assisting with the sense that colleges recognize the challenges that adults face, assisting and providing services to help over-come challenges, and enrolling reentering individuals in programs that match their goals   The reaction to the help we’re able to provide through this partnership has been extremely positive.  Many of the men and women we help are able to express how they see education as a way to improve not only their lives but the lives of their families.   They also value the information we’re able to provide about access to job services information, potential employment while in college, and a permanent position after they complete a Certificate or Associate Degree as the majority of the individuals who are seen at the Renewal Center are seeking skills to re-enter the workforce.     It’s extremely gratifying for the college staff to see individuals re-entering their communities taking the hard, but necessary steps, to get the help, support and education they need to help turn their lives around.  It’s why all of us do what we do. 
For more information visit: http://renewalinc.com/get-involved/
 
Renewing Hope for Better Futures
Capital Campaign Update

In our spring newsletter issue, we told you about our plans for a new facility in downtown Pittsburgh to help meet the growing demand for customized services aimed at men and women leaving prison and returning to families and communities. We recently finalized the “case for support” for the project which is an in-depth look at the challenges this population- sometimes called reentrants (for reentering society)--  faces and ways in which the new facility will help people trying to rebuild their lives.  We encourage you to read it and we hope you will contact us with your thoughts about the project, and the $20 million “Renewing Hope for Better Futures” fundraising campaign that will help make it a reality. Renewal has been very fortunate over the years to receive the financial support of many individuals and organizations who believe in the work we do. We continue to rely on this support for many of our services, such as Lydia’s Place, which are not covered by our contracts with state and federal agencies. Dozens of area churches and places of worship, for example, believe strongly in this ministry, and we are most grateful for their support. As we get ready to launch our $20 million capital campaign, we are preparing to reach out to all of our past supporters, and introduce Renewal and its programs to many more. We hope that you will consider generously supporting the project when you are asked.

Renewal, Inc. | 412-690-2445 |  info@renewalinc.com |  www.renewalinc.com