The Way Home
The Way Home continues to meet men and women at the prison gates and walk with them as they face the many challenges of returning to the community after time spent in prison.
We see miracles every day! Even in these difficult economic times, our participants are getting jobs, joining churches, going back to school, paying off fines, and getting out of the probation system altogether. People can change – but it takes time, effort, and a community of faithful people who are willing to reach out and help nurture and encourage that change. It takes practical supports – a lead on a job, a ride to a meeting, a letter of support, a winter coat. The people of The Way Home learn that you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to move forward. They are making progress against formidable odds.
The Way Home continues to offer a minimum of three years of post-release case management to program participants. Referrals come from a wide variety of sources – from prison counselors, leaders in religious communities, program participants, family members, public defenders and community members at large. While the majority of our work is with the prison in Georgetown, we also receive letters and requests for help from all of the Delaware prisons, as well as from prisons in neighboring states. We present our program to each Pre-Release Class and meet with inmates individually prior to their release. On release day, we are at the gate, and our journey together toward healing, crime-free life, stability, and renewal begins. The journey is different for each and every person, although there are many recurrent themes. Our work includes finding a bed in the community, providing for initial food and clothing needs, providing transportation to probation, job search, medical and counseling appointments, recovery and support group meetings, and working with our participants on their training and educational goals. Most importantly, our work is girded with emotional and spiritual support that is so sorely needed as a person makes this life-changing transition. Community mentors join us, giving of their time to help another in need. Each quarter, we host a covered dish dinner and celebrate with the Participant of the Quarter, affirming those who are doing a good job in their transition from prison to home, and sharing a time of fellowship, along with a great meal. Please join us!
Some of our regular offerings include:
- Weekly Drug & Alcohol Awareness/Life Issues Class at Booker Street Church, Georgetown.
- House meetings at The Way Home Men’s Transitional House.
- Goals reviews for participants.
- Celebrations for birthday and sobriety milestones.
- Quarterly Dinners – in December, March, June, and September.
- Therapy sessions for women with histories of abuse in the Sussex Work Release Center, provided by a community therapist, and twice monthly Women’s Support groups, facilitated by the Way Home Directors and volunteers.
- Pro-bono counseling by community therapists working with Way Home participants who have been released.
- I AM RESPONSIBLE book group, led by a Del Tech Intern, being held at the Sussex Violation of Probation Center.
- WAY HOME MEN’S SUPPORT GROUP held at the Sussex Community Corrections Center, led by volunteers.
- Periodic Transforming Trauma Workshops and Conflict Resolution Workshops in Georgetown.
Our program is making an impact. In terms of human potential, healing of broken relationships, and public safety, our work pays huge dividends in the lives of the community. Our work makes solid economic sense as well. It costs The Way Home approximately $6,000 to provide case management support for one participant per year, compared to the approximately $36,000 annually that it costs to keep one person in prison. Our rates of return to prison are approximately ½ that of those who do not participate in intensive case management programs such as TWH offers after prison. Our own current data shows that we continue to reduce rates of recidivism.
The lives of those we serve are being enriched in many ways. One of our participants knew only violence and abuse and neglect while she was growing up. She served a long sentence and was able to come to much deeper understanding of her past, and grow spiritually into the strong woman that she is today. She has attended our workshops and community events, and was honored as our Participant of the Quarter this past September. She is clean and sober, thriving in her new job, and mentoring others. She is truly an inspiration to us all! This is only one of countless stories of renewal.
Our goals include serving each person that comes our way to the best of our abilities. Holistic, individualized case management services are the hallmark of our success. We aim to reduce recidivism, enhance community safety, and help each person find their way to a crime- free life as they make progress in using their strengths and reaching toward their potential.
We believe in the Gospel mandate to seek and serve Christ in all others, including prisoners, former prisoners, and victims of crime. We also believe that when time is served and a person is released, punishment should end, and that person should be not only offered another chance, but helped to take advantage of that chance. Who among us hasn’t received many second chances from friends, family members, teachers, and mentors?
Area churches help with clothing and work boot drives, mentors and volunteers help with many transportation needs, and concerned community members provide winter coats and help with some of the special needs of participants. Our recent Fundraiser at Catch 54 in Fenwick Island was a great success and a lot of fun! We continue to meet released prisoners at the prison gates and walk with them as they build better lives after prison. As Tony Neal says, “The Way Home is a life-saving station.” Please continue to keep the people of The Way Home in your prayers.
Director: Barbara Del Mastro
Location / Address
413 East Market Street
Georgetown, DE 19947