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May 1, 2018Back to Veoci Blog
National Reentry Week, from April 23rd-28th 2018, ended on a strong and hopeful note. During National Reentry Week and National Second Chance Month, we reflect on the people who dedicate their work to ensuring there’s a life after prison. At the Beacon of Hope Award Ceremony, on the night of April 27th, seven individuals were honored for what they’ve given to the New Haven community and how they changed the lives of those coming back to it after incarceration.
The ceremony was small, but it fully conveyed how much of a difference these seven individuals make. The City of New Haven and mayor Toni Harp know how critical their work is, and especially the programs they operate for the community. Members of the Faith Based Recovery Program, Project Fresh Start, and the Warren A. Kimbro Reentry Project were all present to receive their awards and reflect on the work they’ve done.
The seven individuals who received awards were:
Each of the recipients has made an impact on the community in their own way. It’s been an incredible journey for each of them as well, including Mary Loftus. We’ve chronicled her story before, and suggest you give it a read. Unfortunately, recidivism is fairly common among former inmates, but this can change. Mary, and all of the other recipients, know this for a fact and work tirelessly to reduce the high rate of recidivism in the community. A lot of it’s a mental battle, and they’re all willing to take it head on. It isn’t just the determination of people like Mary, but also the commitment of the former inmates that gets them back on their feet.“Good people make bad choices—you just have to realize that,” Mary said after receiving her award. “If there's one piece of advice that I can give to those working with this population, it would be to keep planting those seeds of positive change. I believe everyone has the desire to change, but you have to keep planting those seeds in order to see that happen. Even though I may never see that change, I know that if people keep planting, eventually that seed will take root and grow. Even the beautiful lotus takes root in the depths of mud.”
Mary’s career is in case management is astounding and definitely something to learn from. Check out our series on her, her career, and her experiences with case management and social service work.
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