A spacious room with white walls, bright blue upholstered chairs, wooden tables, and sunlit windows

Over the past year, a once drab basement classroom in Bridgeport, Conn., has transformed into a warm and welcoming safe haven for women transitioning from incarceration to the community.

The Restore, Inspire, Support, and Empower Program, or RISE, is part of the Family ReEntry subdivision of CRJ’s Social Justice Services division. It offers wrap-around case management services for women during their reentry process.

The program launched in October 2020 with just one staff clinical case manager — an additional staff person will be joining soon. A small but dedicated group of Family ReEntry staff, along with community volunteers, took on the job of reimagining the space as a welcoming and supportive environment for clients to gather.

Since its inception, the program has served 35 clients, who received gender responsive, trauma informed services in a calming newly restored space, which clients use as a remote office to achieve their goals.

An empty room with bare beige walls, a large TV cart, and a table with paint cans and a large cardboard box on it

The RISE space before the 2020 renovation