Agencies Prioritize Rights Restoration and Re-entry Programs

Primavera Foundation and Old Pueblo Community Services (OPCS) hosted agencies from Tucson and Pima County at Primavera to follow up on a rights restoration and re-entry co-convening last year to identify steps to improve support for those in need.

Primavera Foundation Chief Community Resilience Officer Tamara Prime led the discussion, joined by more than 15 representatives from nine other organizations, including Old Pueblo Community Services (OPCS) and the Pima County Community and Workforce Development (CWD) department. This was the second co-convening of 2024 with two more to come addressing housing and homeownership.

Those in attendance identified continued challenges finding affordable housing, lack of support within transitional housing, a lack of peer support within the re-entry system and too many “silos” between like-minded organizations. 

Another focus was the importance of creating community-driven and community-led initiatives, while understanding there may be hesitancy in some communities. 

“It’s difficult to even want to get to the table because of the mistrust in communities of color, especially in the Native community,” said Doyle Morrison, Pima County Community Engagement and Equity Specialist and Transition Center Program Manager

One of the largest barriers identified by all organizations was the lack of peer support and the unnecessary stigma attached to those who have previously been incarcerated. 

“Some of the peers I have have been out for 10 or 15 years,” Morrison said. “We need specific guidelines for peers and how to utilize that experience. Let’s focus on creating peer coaches in all the different places where these folks will be heading back to.” 

Morrison mentioned a plan to use the Jail Annex on Mission Road to bring community partners and nonprofits together to provide drug detox, transitional housing for individuals and families, and other services to assist with re-entry. 

“We can have everybody under one roof to surround them with the support they need to help their transition,” Morrison said. 

The next co-convening in the series, focused on housing, is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14.

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