Project RETURN

Project RETURN "Project RETURN helps men and women leaving prison make a positive and permanent return to our community"
- Wendel Hruska, Executive Director

Check out our website for more information, videos, news, and success stories! http://www.projectreturnmilwaukee.org/index.html

Operating as usual

04/08/2021
Rick Lax

Rick Lax

I WILL ONLY EAT RAMEN MADE LIKE THIS! 🍜🤯

Pretty fun way to make the dish.
For entertainment purposes only. ;)

What is the benefit of a mental health treatment court? Comprehensive care. Instead of putting a seriously mentally ill ...
04/06/2021

What is the benefit of a mental health treatment court? Comprehensive care.

Instead of putting a seriously mentally ill person into prison, a mental health treatment court diverts a person from incarceration to treatment. Instead of placing a person in a prison that is unequipped to treat mental illness, a mental health treatment court will:

- divert people with serious mental disorders who are charged with misdemeanors and non-violent felonies from jail to treatment
- reduce a patient's involvement in the criminal justice system
- create comprehensive care with community programs for mental health and chemical dependency treatment

Governor Tony Evers’ 2021 budget plan hints that Treatment for Alternatives and Diversion Program (TAD) funding may be able to extend beyond Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse counseling and into specialty programs such as mental health treatment courts.

But we need your help to make it happen. Sign the Letter to ask the Joint Finance Committee to Support Treatment and Diversion that asks our leaders to expand TAD funding to support diversion therapy here: https://secure.everyaction.com/frs4VzsX7k6ejY12RibDoQ2

Sixteenth Street WIC
04/03/2021

Sixteenth Street WIC

WIC Health Wednesday!!

Lesson: Building healthy bodies with iron foods

Did you know that low iron is the most common nutrition-related disorder in the world?

Our blood needs iron to carry oxygen to the whole body and EVERYONE needs iron to stay healthy.

The WIC food package includes foods to help meet iron needs.

Remember if you need a class or would like to know more, check out WIChealth.org

Project RETURN's cover photo
03/31/2021

Project RETURN's cover photo

What is a mental health treatment court? And how can it help Milwaukee? Mental health treatment courts keep people with ...
03/31/2021

What is a mental health treatment court? And how can it help Milwaukee?

Mental health treatment courts keep people with serious mental disorders who are charged with misdemeanors and non-violent felonies out of prison. Instead, they are diverted into a court-supervised treatment program. Mental health treatment courts have proven to:

- Increase public safety
- Reduce court-and corrections-related costs
- Lower recidivism

Right now, Milwaukee has a pilot mental health treatment court that can serve just 5 people a year. In this specialty court, a client meets with a judge to develop a treatment plan that includes psychotherapy, medication, and housing.

“We continue to put people with mental health issues in prison and incarceration, which is the last thing that they need. It’s counterproductive in terms of community safety,” said Pastor Joe Ellwanger, founder and board member of Project RETURN.

Governor Tony Evers’ 2021 budget plan opens the opportunity for Treatment for Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) Program funding to be extended beyond Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse counseling and into specialty courts such as mental health treatment courts. With the support of TAD funding, the mental health treatment court could expand to serve as many as 100 people a year in the Milwaukee area, keeping those people out of prison and getting the mental health treatment they need.

We need your support to make it happen. Sign the Letter to the Joint Finance Committee to Support Treatment and Diversion that asks our leaders to expand TAD funding to support diversion therapy here: https://secure.everyaction.com/frs4VzsX7k6ejY12RibDoQ2

03/29/2021
Tamra Oman on Housing After Prison

Watch Tamra Oman, statewide coordinator for the Free Campaign, share her passion about helping women find safe housing after returning from prison.

“If you return back to the same place you were before you came, without the skills necessary to become who you were created to be, you’re likely to be in that same cycle again,” says Tamra.

Hear her moving testimony and mission below!

TMJ4 News
03/26/2021

TMJ4 News

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03/26/2021
Housing after Reentry with Lee Varner

Listen to Lee Varner, a client of Project RETURN, speak about the difficulty of finding housing after incarceration. He shares his moving testimony about the struggle to feel at home during reentry.

“I want to have a piece of mine. I don’t mean a piece of mind, I mean a piece of M-I-N-E! I want to be able to lay in my own bed,” says Lee.

Learn more about Lee and reentry by watching the video below.

Want to be involved in the conversation about racial social justice in Milwaukee? Join Project RETURN’s Circles of Suppo...
03/24/2021

Want to be involved in the conversation about racial social justice in Milwaukee? Join Project RETURN’s Circles of Support to engage in real dialogue about recidivism in Milwaukee..

“Active listening is the core of circles,” says Pam Gustafson, a volunteer for the Circles of Support.

Pam said that joining Circles opened her up to understand the hoops the ex-incarcerated have to jump through after prison. Circles of Support are small groups that meet regularly to provide a stable, supportive network for men and women reentering society after prison. Programs offered address the direct needs of those returning from incarceration.

“You are going to learn a lot about how unjust our supposedly justice system is,” said Pam.

Learn more about Circles of Support by emailing [email protected].

Looking to volunteer with Project RETURN’s Circles of Support? Pam Gustafson is a volunteer for this program, and she lo...
03/22/2021

Looking to volunteer with Project RETURN’s Circles of Support? Pam Gustafson is a volunteer for this program, and she loves the active listening involved in the circles.

“None of us want to be defined by our worst moments. And many of us aren’t. We can keep things we did wrong privately,” said Pam. “It’s like they’re punished over and over and over again.”

Circles of Support are small groups that meet regularly to provide a stable, supportive network to help aid men and women in a successful reentry. Programs offered address the direct needs of those returning from incarceration.

In Circles, Pam has learned a lot about the high recidivism rates in Milwaukee, and the difficulty of reentry after time in prison. You can have a powerful experience like Pam's if you volunteer with Circles.

Reach out to [email protected] to get involved with Circles of Support.

Is one of your family members incarcerated? Or, do you have a family member who has been? Project RETURN understands tha...
03/19/2021

Is one of your family members incarcerated? Or, do you have a family member who has been? Project RETURN understands that incarceration affects more than the person in prison.

Project RETURN hosts different types of Circles of Support, which are small groups that meet regularly to provide a stable, supportive network to help men and women overcome barriers created by incarceration and thus help aid in a successful reentry.

Project RETURN is now launching Circles of Support for Family members, to provide support to families of the incarcerated or formerly incarcerated. These Family Circles take place every first Monday of the month from 6:30-8 p.m. over Zoom and are open to those who have had a loved one in prison.

Contact [email protected] to get involved with Circles for Support.

In a time when we are starved for human connection, Circles of Support is gathering on Zoom to create community. Circles...
03/17/2021

In a time when we are starved for human connection, Circles of Support is gathering on Zoom to create community. Circles are small groups run by Project RETURN to provide a stable, supportive network for men and women during reentry.

Lee Varner, a participant in Project RETURN’s Circles of Support, says that he is grateful for the ability to meet during these unprecedented times, even if it is on a laptop.

“Technology is just so beautiful,” said Lee. “When you can see a person, and see the expressions on their face, it's so good. Expressions speak a lot louder than words at times,” said Lee.

While it may take a bit longer to get to know people than if Circles was happening in person, it’s still an open and welcoming environment for people to gather together, said Pam Gustafson, a volunteer in Circles of Support.

“The Circle itself has remained pretty true to the way it was when it happened face to face,” said Pam.

If you are longing for community and connection, reach out to Amanda Smit at [email protected] or 414-418-7312 to get involved with Circles of Support.

Virtual Enrichment Program — GET EMPOWERED!
03/16/2021
Virtual Enrichment Program — GET EMPOWERED!

Virtual Enrichment Program — GET EMPOWERED!

VIRTUAL ENRICHMENT PROGRAM IS 4 DAYS A WEEK. EACH DAY, WE HAVE DIVERSE THEMES AND ACTIVITIES TO MAKE THE DAY FUN, ENGAGING AND EXCITING!

How will the next Wisconsin State budget affect re-entry? Take a listen to Representative Evan Goyke's conversation with...
03/15/2021
EXPO: EX-Prisoners Organizing – Riverwest Radio

How will the next Wisconsin State budget affect re-entry?

Take a listen to Representative Evan Goyke's conversation with EXPO radio to discuss how the budget could impact the DOC and re-entry programs.

EXPO: EX-Prisoners OrganizingWednesdays @ 4 (CT)Hosted by Rob pageEXPO Radio talks with individuals about the problems and successes of reentry from incarceration. We speak with individuals working on conquering the many obstacles as they return to be a productive member of their communitie...

Want to be involved in the conversation about racial social justice in Milwaukee? Join Project RETURN’s program Circles ...
03/14/2021

Want to be involved in the conversation about racial social justice in Milwaukee? Join Project RETURN’s program Circles of Support to engage in real dialogue about recidivism in Milwaukee. Circles are small groups that meet to build a stable, supportive network for men and women returning from prison.

“Active listening is the core of circles,” says Pam Gustafson, a volunteer for the Circles of Support.

Pam said that joining Circles opened her up to understand the hoops the ex-incarcerated have to jump through after prison.

“You are going to learn a lot about how unjust our supposedly justice system is,” said Pam.

Learn more about getting involved with Circles of Support by emailing [email protected] or visiting our website at https://www.projectreturnmilwaukee.org

Going from prison with hundreds of people to a room by yourself can make reentry a challenge. Lee Varner found that Proj...
03/11/2021

Going from prison with hundreds of people to a room by yourself can make reentry a challenge. Lee Varner found that Project RETURN's Circles of Support was the community that made coming home possible.

“Coming back out of prison, you kind of feel not welcome because of obstacles you have to go through with housing and trying to find employment,” said Lee. “I didn’t feel welcomed back, but going to that first Circle was welcoming. Circles was the start of a whole new chapter in my life.”

Circles of Support are small groups that meet regularly to provide a stable, supportive network to help men and women overcome barriers created by incarceration and thus help aid in a successful reentry. Programs offered address the direct needs of those returning from incarceration.

“We all need help, we all need love and acceptance,” said Lee. “At Circles, you can get yourself something to eat, you can meet some people, and see how it goes.”

Reach out to [email protected] to get involved with Circles for Support. We are looking for clients and volunteers who are interested in joining the program. Contact Amanda for more information!

03/11/2021
What’s it like to find housing after prison? You’re invited to the Reentry Housing Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, March ...
03/10/2021

What’s it like to find housing after prison?

You’re invited to the Reentry Housing Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, March 18 from 6-7:30 p.m. to learn more about what it’s like to find a home after incarceration. We will meet to dispel myths around reentry and increase engagement from landlords.

Join us over zoom for more!

Milwaukee With Kids
03/07/2021

Milwaukee With Kids

25 FREE Things To Do This Spring With Kids:

1. Vist the Wind Leaves at Discovery World
2. Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha
3. Possibility Playground in Port Washington
...

Sign up for our newsletter, and we'll send you the rest! >> http://eepurl.com/hfOTkv

Christ Child Society - Milwaukee Chapter
02/25/2021

Christ Child Society - Milwaukee Chapter

Be sure to stop by! Includes Clothing, Jewelry, Housewares, Linens, Boutique,Childrens, Decorative items- Baskets & Vases, Lamps and Artwork and MORE.

Exceptions: Craigslist, Books, Cards, St Patrick's Day & Easter Decorations

02/24/2021
EXPO - EX-incarcerated People Organizing

EXPO - EX-incarcerated People Organizing

Currently, 38.8% of all Wisconsin prison admissions are for revocations only, in the absence of a conviction for a new criminal offense. This is costing Wisconsin millions in tax dollars with little to show for it in terms of public safety.

Support Alternatives to Revocation in the 2021-23 Budget!

02/21/2021
02/17/2021
“If I walked in a room, you wouldn’t know I’d been in prison.”

"We all want public safety, but there has to be a way to deal with folks being released who've served their time and need a second chance," said Andre Brown, employment specialist at Project RETURN.

Andre helps the ex-incarcerated find jobs after serving time in prison. Listen to him share his inspiring testimony at the link below!

Andre Brown shows everyday why societal fears and biases towards people with criminal records need to be corrected, and how we can best do it.Check out our o...

SITE Staffing, Inc
02/14/2021

SITE Staffing, Inc

DIRECT HIRE OPPORTUNITIES:

We are currently recruiting for several Industrial Maintenance Technicians for various clients in the Milwaukee area. All shifts are available and pay range for these positions is between $25.00-$30.00/hr and based on experience.

If you or someone you know are looking for a new opportunity, please email your resume to Morgan at [email protected] or submit an online application by visiting our website (https://www.sitestaffinginc.com/)

Your next job could just be a click away!

#sitestaffinginc #staffingagency #staffing #recruiting #mke #milwaukee #job #jobsearch #jobopportunities #DirectHire #milwaukeewi #manufacturing #electricalmaintenance #industrialmaintenance #machinemechanics #hiring #foodmanufacturing #jobs #industrialjobs #industrialmaintenancetechnicians #maintenancetechnicians #milwaukeejobs #recruiters #hiringduringcovid #maintenance #opportunities #hr #opportunity #nowhiring

The Wisconsin State budget is coming soon. Do you want to learn more about how this could impact the DOC and re-entry pr...
02/12/2021
expo-ex-prisoners-organizing [0178] Representative Evan Goyke joins us tonight to discuss the Wisconsin State budget and how it could impact the DOC and re-entry programs. – Riverwest Radio

The Wisconsin State budget is coming soon. Do you want to learn more about how this could impact the DOC and re-entry programs?

Listen to Project RETURN board member Rob Schreiber's conversation with state assembly member Evan Goyke. Goyke is a Marquette alum who works on bills dealing with Justice reform.

Educate yourself on the upcoming budget and how it could affect incarceration in Wisconsin at the link below.

EXPO: EX-Prisoners Organizing#178: Representative Evan Goyke joins us tonight to discuss the Wisconsin State budget and how it could impact the DOC and re-entry programs. Airdate: 01/27/2021 Evan Goyke, graduated from Marquette University Law School in 2009 and was state public defender. He has been...

Be a voice for change in the upcoming state budget. ACLU of Wisconsin is holding a virtual training on Feb 20 from 10 a....
02/10/2021

Be a voice for change in the upcoming state budget. ACLU of Wisconsin is holding a virtual training on Feb 20 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. to explain how YOU can be heard in the Wisconsin budget.

"We need to lead the effort for a just and moral state budget," said Wisconsin ACLU in a press release.

The ACLU of Wisconsin, with your help, will be ready to be a voice in the upcoming state budget debates! We want to make sure that elected officials know what we – their constituents - want out of the next Wisconsin Budget.

Join us for virtual trainings on:

Saturday, February 20, beginning at 10 a.m.
PART 1: BUDGET DEBRIEF: In the first hour (10-11 am), we will hear from experts about the governor’s budget.

PART 2: LOCAL ACTION WORKSHOP: Beginning at 11 a.m., attendees will work with local teams to identify different strategies to take action and create plans to amplify testimony and advocate for the budget we need in Wisconsin.

Please RSVP TODAY for the training, and share this link widely and encourage your friends, neighbors, and lists to attend.

Visit EXPO's page to see two prison system survivors run from Milwaukee to Wisconsin, raising awareness of the effect of...
02/08/2021

Visit EXPO's page to see two prison system survivors run from Milwaukee to Wisconsin, raising awareness of the effect of COVID in prisons.

"Individuals incarcerated in our state institutions are our brothers and sisters, men and women who deserve the opportunity to live. It is the responsibility of the state to ensure the safety and well being of all who are in their care. These men and women were not sentenced to die in the institution and we must give them every ability to survive in an environment where practicing social distancing is impossible," said Wendel Hruska, executive director of Project RETURN.

You can join the run live NOW via EXPO or MICAH's page.

Run for their Lives VIRTUAL Press Conference & Run Kick Off
Monday, Feb. 8, 2021
9:30 - 10 a.m.
Welford Sander Enterprise Center, 2821 N. Vel Phillips Avenue, MKE
(You can join us via EXPO or MICAH's page as we go live. Press is invited to attend in person).

With the passage of the repeal of the WI Mask Mandate the failure of our state legislature to protect us from COVID 19 is apparent. Nowhere is it MORE apparent than in the WI prison system. More than half of the current population of the WI prison system have contracted COVID 19 while 25 people have lost their lives making theirs a death sentence.

Two System Survivors, Ramiah Whiteside & Kevin Cook are running from Milwaukee to Madison to raise awareness of the devastation of COVID in our prisons please join them in support for their journey and learn more about their motivation.

"We are running to bring AWARENESS to the desperate COVID situation within the Wisconsin prison system. They suffer in silence with nowhere to run, so we're running for their lives." - Ramiah Whiteside.

On Tuesday, Feb. 9th at 6:30 p.m. you can join Ramiah & Kevin via Zoom as they reflect on their run during “Diaries from the Road: Running for their lives” https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83592313900

Ramiah & Kevin will run 20 miles per day to arrive at the State Capitol on Friday, February 12, 2021 at 10 a.m. if you are in the Madison area, please join us for their arrival. Please stay tuned for more details!

#RUNNINGFORTHEIRLIVES

Address

2821 VEL R. PHILLIPS AVE . SUITE 223
Milwaukee, WI
53212

General information

History: In 1980, Cross Lutheran Church brought together interested parties to consider the challenge of high recidivism in Milwaukee. As a result, Project RETURN was formed in 1981, and for 30 years has walked alongside ex-offenders, providing assistance with employment, housing, and encouragement to change lives and the community.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 09:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 09:00 - 16:30
Thursday 09:00 - 16:30
Friday 09:00 - 15:00

Telephone

+14143748029

Alerts

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Our Story

In 1980, Cross Lutheran church formed Project RETURN to address the challenge of high recidivism in Milwaukee. For 40 years, our organization has walked alongside ex-incarcerated people by providing assistance with employment, housing, and counseling. We help men and women leaving prison make a positive and permanent return to the community. Often people come to Project RETURN in a time of crisis, not looking beyond their immediate needs. Our experienced staff members—most of whom are formerly incarcerated individuals—work one-on-one with clients, helping them to navigate through the moment and then to look beyond that situation to “next steps.”

Whether a client needs assistance with housing or simply someone to vent to, they are welcomed at Project RETURN.

“We don’t treat people like they are criminals. We treat people like they are humans,” said Teri Woodley, the Office Manager.

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Comments

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rodney Evans and Pastor Joe for my Urban Milwaukee.com article. https://bit.ly/3e2yT2V
I sent an email to your organization a few weeks ago, and never received a response.
this is Deinna Elijah's daughter, i wanted to let you know that the services for my father will be this Saturday the 19 at new restoration christian church 11248 w mill road milwaukee wi 53225 visitation is 10:00-11:00 and the service will be at 11:00
Enjoying the game
looking for better job and better pay
Merry Christmas from your friends at Mt Zion! Thank you for partnering with us in 2017, and have a Happy New Year 2018!