Today, when women exit the U.S. prison system, they’re forgotten and abandoned. They don't have jobs lined up. No savings. No roof over their heads. No money for groceries to feed their children or pay their utility bills.
“Well, it's striking to me how we can spend $75,000 a year to lock a woman like me up, and then we send her back to the community with $200, no ID, no Social Security card, nowhere to live, and expect her to make it. It's impossible," said Susan Burton of A New Way of Life, a grantee partner also featured in The Future Is Hers.
What women reentering their communities need desperately is economic security—finding employment that pays a living wage and utilizing tools for asset-building. Cal Wellness’s Re-Entry and Employment Initiative aims to ensure that formerly incarcerated women of color, especially African American and Latina women, achieve health through financial well-being, including through increased participation in the workforce (finding jobs that pay a living wage) and building financial assets (acquiring financial planning skills and learning how to build wealth).