Impact

WHAT WE DO WHEN PEOPLE SEEK OUR HELP

As just a sample of the impact the Transition Support Center (TSC) has on people's lives, from May-September 2019, 350 people sought help at the TSC.  Among many other services, with our assistance:
  • 45 people were given specific help with addictions.
  • 30 people found housing.
  • 300 people were given clothing, personal hygiene products, and other necessities.
  • 38 people obtained IDs and similar necessities.
  • 12 people obtained health insurance.
  • 72 people sought our help in finding a job, with 30 reporting finding a job (though, many more likely also did).
This is but a snapshot, and the number of people we serve has only increased since then!

Testimonials

Here are some things that our clients have been saying about the impact of New Leaf - New Life on their lives inside the jail:
  • "Writing class helps because, in my opinion, it gives us a chance to be independent in our thoughts, ..." - Anonymous
  • "The Think Tank: being able to pass on our experiences to younger generations and paths not to go down. New Leaf has an abundance of great programs to offer to those who wish to better themselves." - Nathan D.
  • "The creative writing is an open door and window to escape the concrete cell of the world, myself. The things that I learn are things I can take with everywhere I go." - X. Encoch
And here are some things our clients say about the impact of New Leaf - New Life on their lives outside the jail:
  • "Once back in society, I felt overwhelmed.  I was heading in all different directions, but had no idea where I was going in any of them.  I wanted to do all the right things and make the best choices.  And New Leaf - New Life helped me do that without the feeling of being overwhelmed. ... Guidance, routine, clothing, friendship, a hug, letters of compliance ... Without New Leaf New Life being there for myself in times of need: I would have went in one of the wrong directions." - Anonymous
  • "Out of jail in March snow, wearing nothing but shorts and sandals, New Leaf New Life met and exceeded my immediate needs and pointed the way toward all of Bloomington’s help agencies and caseworkers. ... NLNL is an absolute necessity for anyone leaving incarceration to re-enter the Bloomington community. I am certain that their help reduces recidivism and I owe them my thanks." - Ian M.
  • "While I had 'dropped out' all my life, he [a volunteer] said something to me that completely changed my life ... 'You need to realize you’re worth something.' ... To sum all this up, I’m proud to say what I am.  I am a new creation.  The more I learn to love myself, the more I realize how beautiful the world becomes" - Anonymous
And a few words from some volunteers:
  • "I've been volunteering in the jail since 2009 or 2010, and I do it because I love it.  I get so much more out of interacting with inmates than I give.  I enjoy sharing what I know and hearing what others know, and on days when that kind of interactivity is blossoming, life couldn't be better." - Markus Dickinson
  • "I appreciated seeing how many individuals were passionate about helping and were willing to help incarcerated and previously incarcerated individuals without judgement as they navigated so many obstacles after release.  The passion and dedication shown by the volunteers and staff at New Leaf-New Life is what truly makes this organization an important part of the community as they recognize that everyone has value." - Debra Morrow
  • "By teaching about real, technical material, my hope is that inmates will see that: a) they are worth the time of being instructed; b) they have skills they didn't know they had (e.g., analytical skills); and c) they live in a world which is much greater and much less limited than the one which contributes to the spiraling of negative patterns."
  • “How can we have more presence of mind to de-escalate threatening situations? Why do we sometimes behave in ways that we regret, though we have firm intentions not to? Why do we recycle the same thoughts over and over, even when they are unproductive and unpleasant? How can we find peace in the midst of chaos? How can we find meaning and satisfaction in life, regardless of the circumstances we are in?
    These are key questions for everyone, which I’ve been exploring for decades through meditation and other approaches to mindfulness. Just being present in the moment, without being overly reactive or overwhelmed, is mindfulness. Since 2011 I’ve enjoyed sharing this journey in weekly jail program groups. Join us to explore paths to inner freedom that begin where you are.” Chris Haynes, NLNL Volunteer