A Consistent Advocate
Safer Foundation, an Illinois not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, began providing employment, educational, and supportive services for individuals with criminal records in 1972. With headquarters in Chicago, Safer Foundation’s staff of more than 250 assist clients in facilities throughout Illinois and eastern Iowa.
Along with the stigma of a criminal record, Safer’s clients face barriers to employment, such as lack of education, substance abuse issues and little experience in the work world. At the same time, communities face sizable increases in the number of returning individuals, as nearly 700,000 people are released from U.S. prisons each year.
While Safer Foundation’s primary focus remains finding gainful employment for its clients, the organization has expanded its offerings over the past three decades to include supportive services, such as housing, substance abuse treatment, education and life skills.
In 1976, Safer Foundation expanded service delivery into Rock Island, Ill., in response to a need for services in that area of the state. In 1978, Iowa Governor Robert Ray personally invited Safer to deliver services in his state. He made the decision after learning that many of the state’s parolees and probationers already were seeking Safer’s services across the border in Illinois.
That same year, Safer Foundation agreed to operate and administer a 60-bed residential work release facility on behalf of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Today, Safer Foundation — the only non-profit private organization to manage adult transition centers for IDOC — provides secure oversight and services to more than 500 males at two residential facilities located in the North Lawndale community on Chicago’s West Side.
The purpose of these centers is to give individuals nearing release from Illinois supervision the support and services necessary to re-establish ties to family, employment, and community.
Safer Foundation also established a Public Policy and Advocacy Program to identify and reduce the systematic barriers to employment by developing broad-based coalitions to help advocate for our clients and people with criminal records in general..?
For more than 42 years, Safer Foundation has attracted a broad base of funding support from individuals, private foundations and the public sector. Safer also receives numerous requests from international, national, state and local government officials seeking our expertise on policies and programs that promote successful re-entry.
Safer continues to be staunch advocate for those who have paid their dues to society and are seeking a second chance.
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