State Awards $455,000 for Program to Assist At-Risk Individuals

The state Department of Education recently awarded a $455,000 state grant to the Greater Erie Community Action Committee for the Erie County Reentry Services and Support Alliance (ECRSSA), according to Senator Dan Laughlin, a strong advocate for the funding.

The grant is intended to provide job training and other life skills assistance to individuals who are returning to society after incarceration or are trying to escape from potentially violent situations.

“This grant will help change lives and give people an opportunity to become productive members of the greater Erie community,” Senator Laughlin said. “I strongly support the work of ECRSSA and its partner organizations who are dedicated to giving individuals a second chance to turn their lives around.”

ECRSSA is designed to provide support and services to transitioning clients through a network of community-based organizations in partnership with the criminal justice system. ECRSSA staff discuss all options to help a person reintegrate back into the community, with the primary goals of finding employment, locating sustainable housing, and other services to support a successful transition. More than 77 percent of the clients who identified employment as a goal obtained a job.

“ECRSSA helps transitioning clients reintegrate into the community and as a result reduces the chances that the individual will return to criminal activity and end up back in jail,” Senator Laughlin said.  “That helps the client and it makes our communities safer.”   

Contact:         Matt Azeles       

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