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New Program Aids Transition From Prison To Productivity

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Michael Berry unlocks the front door to his new apartment. (Credit/Joseph Howse)

Michael Berry unlocks the front door to his new apartment. (Credit/Joseph Howse)

CBS Detroit (con't)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – A new grant is allowing some homeless to get off the street and into a new apartment.

For at least 105 days, 52-year-old Jennifer Jones has been drug and alcohol free reports WWJ’s Pat Sweeting.

Jones is among the first four homeless ex-offenders to earn a new apartment as part of her recovery.

She says she was surprised, grateful and excited to know she had been selected:

“When I got out of jail, I got caught up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I got tired of being tired and ran and asked for some help,” said Jones.

L)Travis Williams,  Andre Johnson of the  DRP,  Jennifer Jones, Marcus Kelly and Michael Berry all received keys to a new apartment in Highland Park. (Credit/Joseph Howse)

L)Travis Williams, Andre Johnson of the DRP, Jennifer Jones, Marcus Kelly and Michael Berry all received keys to a new apartment in Highland Park. (Credit/Joseph Howse)

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano sees the program as helping these individuals break a cycle that could land them back
in trouble.

“If you come out of an institution – either jail or prison – it’s twice as hard really to try to find a job and so this is a way to try to merge them into the community and give them a quality of life,” said Ficano. “It comes down to – if you give them an opportunity with dignity and respect and they feel that it’s there … they’re going to put a lot more effort into trying to make their way into the community.”

A $200,000 grant through Wayne County is funding the rental apartments of  the Detroit Recovery Project program (Tennant Based Recovery Rental Support Housing) that will initially place 30 ex-offenders into new housing.

All had been homeless but are working to put their lives back together.

The Detroit Recovery Project encourages those seeking recovery, to achieve and maintain long-term recovery, and live productive, drug-free lifestyles.

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