Thursday, December 24, 2009

Group gives ex-inmates a new start on life

From the Daily News:

Hour Children, a nonprofit Queens group, plans to begin the renovation of a Corona building this week to provide housing for 16 families of women that were once incarcerated. The group already helps more than 40 families living in five Long Island City buildings.

The group's new facility on 103rd St., once a home for boys, is slated to get a new roof and heating system, said Sister Teresa Fitzgerald, the organization's founder, who is better known by her colleagues as Sister Tesa.

Hour Children - so named to note the time a child spends waiting to see his or her mother in prison - was established in 1995 when it expanded to take care of jailed mothers as well. It now provides homes for 41 families and 86 children of incarcerated mothers, Fitzgerald said.

Due to the growing number of applicants Hour Children must turn down because of space limitations, Fitzgerald also is looking to redevelop the land she has just purchased from the church, to build 18 more apartments.

The construction is set to begin by the middle of next year, Fitzgerald said.

Women who get help from Hour Children have a 4% recidivism rate, group officials said, compared to the 30% overall for female inmates reported by the New York State Department of Correctional Services. That success has earned the group a growing number of supporters.


Anonymous said...

While I dont have a problem with this program, what about the poor families whose mother's DON'T got to jail?

Klink Cannoli said...

4% recidivism versus the City's 30%.

Another perfect example of Dr. Milton Friedman's societal theories in practice.

Very apropos for our nanny state times.

Anonymous said...

Why not build or house the facility next to Trump Tower or Park Ave?

Anonymous said...

We've had one in Astoria run by Mt. Carmel for years. While many understandably hate the idea, as long as it serves people who are already living here I don't see the objection.

After all, it is not as if it is drawing criminals into the area if they are already here. Maybe it can reduce some of the problems.