A group of people stand on the steps of a building smiling and holding a giant check

Family ReEntry recently received a $100,000 grant from the city of Bridgeport, Conn., to support the ongoing work of Enterprise House, a residential reentry center supporting men transitioning from incarceration back to the community.

Family ReEntry, a subdivision of CRJ’s Social Justice Services division, was among the lineup of small businesses and nonprofit organizations selected to receive a portion of $10.3 million in American Rescue Plan funding to support workforce development and reentry initiatives in the city.

Tom Gaudett, an aide to Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, said city staff and volunteers from the community reviewed hundreds of applications for funding from the federal COVID-relief package in order to deliver a cash infusion to innovative programs that will have a direct impact on individuals’ lives.

“The whole intent is to get this going immediately,” Gaudett said at a press conference recognizing the awardees in November. “We are trying to address the needs of the most vulnerable in our community.”

Fred Hodges, FRE’s director of community affairs and program manager of Enterprise House, spoke about the importance of the city recognizing the value in the work that Family ReEntry and Enterprise House have done in the community.

Enterprise House serves up to eight men at a time, assisting them in finding permanent housing and employment, as well as offering referrals to additional resources, teaching life skills and financial literacy, and more.

Earl Bloodworth, director of the Mayor’s Initiative for Reentry Affairs, said the programs that were awarded grants have the potential to create new models for helping individuals overcome barriers and thrive in the community after incarceration.

“We have an opportunity to transform reentry in the city of Bridgeport and become a nationwide, if not international, beacon of hope for those who are seeking second chances and many of those who never had a first chance,” he said.