Board of Directors
Marian Snyder, Chair
Jack Johnson, Vice Chair, Treasurer
Sandra Ruthven, Secretary
Sam Tower, Trustee
Kathie Williams, Trustee
Stevina Willmarth, Trustee
New Connections is a 501(c)3 non-profit agency dedicated to helping people successfully re-enter the community after incarceration. To achieve this mission, New Connections provides:
- Pre-release support
- Clean, sober, and supportive transitional housing
- Intensive case management and mentoring
- Skill-building opportunities
- Advocacy and referral services
- Reentry 101 workshops @ Pierce County Jail
- Safe Landing, early morning release assistance
At New Connections, we:
- Uphold a person’s right to dignity and self-enhancement
- Welcome and value diversity of people, ideas, cultures and spiritual traditions
- Believe in the value of community partnerships
- Treat all with respect, compassion, honesty and humanity
- Operate with integrity, accountability and professionalism
- Believe that each of us holds the potential for positive change
New Connections began as an outreach ministry for previously incarcerated people under the auspices of the St. Vincent DePaul Society. Sharing the vision of housing and re-entry services for women leaving prison, Father Bill Bichsel, S.J. (Bix) and the Tacoma Catholic Worker Community enlisted volunteers to renovate the house in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood specifically to meet the needs of this program.
Irma Gary Transitional House — owned by the Tacoma Catholic Worker and named for its former owner — became the primary program of New Connections and the first resident was welcomed in the fall of 2001. In 2004, New Connections became an independent 501(c)3 organization and continues to welcome women as they begin the process of rebuilding their lives. The house can accommodate up to six women.
Ann Flagg Cottage is also owned by the Tacoma Catholic Worker and New Connections renovated the interior and welcomed the first guests into the family cottage in 2013. This small, 2-bedroom home provides shelter for women (with minor children) who face obstacles to housing based on a criminal background.
About the Tacoma Catholic Worker: Founded in 1989, the Tacoma Catholic Worker community includes the Guadalupe House, satellite houses and the Guadalupe Gardens. Community members welcome, support and mentor Irma Gary House and Ann Flagg Cottage residents in their return to community life. The Tacoma Catholic Worker continues to be an essential partner and ally to New Connections and those we serve.