Connect Conversations with NC Co-Executive Director, Jessica Means
New Connections’ Commitment to Anti-racism
from our Board of Directors
At New Connections, we recognize our participation in the systemic racism that is deeply rooted in the history of this country. We are committed to using our resources to address the impacts of both interpersonal and institutional racism. We will partner with people of color and others who are working to interrupt the cycle of incarceration, poverty, homelessness, and recidivism that disproportionately impacts communities of color. We can build an America where the police do not kill people and where the fact that Black lives matter is acknowledged as a simple, indisputable truth. But we need to be well informed to be effective allies and agents of change; below are links to commentary and recommendations from several racial justice leaders in the US:
- Black Lives Matter
- Manuel Ellis’s Family and Their Fight for Justice (Tacoma)
- How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kendi
- Campaign Zero
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- The Race and Pedagogy Institute (University of Puget Sound, Tacoma)
Building New Connections
Women face many challenges when returning to society after incarceration. The first days and weeks are critical to building a more positive future. New Connections offers safe housing in a welcoming community along with advocacy, networking, and resource coaching to support those first crucial steps toward successful transition.
To Promote Successful Reintegration, We Provide:
Irma’s Place: supportive recovery shelter for women experiencing homelessness who have recently been released from correctional facilities in Washington State. The program includes housing, intensive resource coaching, advocacy, and reentry support.
Annie’s Cottage: a family shelter adjacent to Irma’s Place, the cottage provides the services described above for women experiencing homelessness and their children. The cottage is reserved for justice-involved women with custody of minor children.
Reentry Resource Navigation
- Reentry and resource coaching (pre & post release)
- Peer navigator assistance
Pre-release program to identify needs and offer community resources for those currently incarcerated
Advocacy, community outreach, and policy initiatives
Partnering with others to increase community safety, reduce recidivism, and eliminate barriers to success for formerly incarcerated individuals and their families.
Community Partner for the Emergency Temporary Aid & Sheltering Initiative
This is a City of Tacoma initiative in response to state of public health emergency declared by the city council on May 9, 2017. New Connections contributes to this effort through:
- Outreach to justice involved people who are experiencing homelessness via the primary mitigation site
- Establishing tools and capacity for continued advocacy and resource mentoring at phase 2 and 3 sites as they are developed
- Participating in city led planning meetings with multiple other agencies and individuals