Remnant Initiatives was born out of identifying three critical local problems. Yes, the problems are national in nature, but we know we can only address what is in our control and so we have focused on the local as the dream for this organization.
FIRST, after years of working with women in prison and women transitioning back to life on the outside, we realized that our community was not equipped to serve individuals and families that have been involved with the criminal justice system. There are many organizations who do a good job serving those families and individuals with basic and emergency needs, but once a person is ready to move into sustainable housing, employment and working to build a new, healthy, sustainable way of life, we were falling flat in our local context.
SECOND, we have a lot of folks in our Yamhill Valley neighborhoods who care, but don’t know where to start with helping this population become contributing members of our society. Many people talk about the need for better services and better relationships for the previously incarcerated but are so overwhelmed by the “bigness” of the problem that they fail to act in any useful way.
THIRD, there are too many people who simply don’t understand the magnitude of how mass incarceration effects our neighborhoods and communities. Too many families are struggling to turn their lives around with the limiting label of “convicted felon.” Too many children are struggling in foster care due to having drug impaired or incarcerated parents. Too many folks are waiting in jail for trial because they cannot afford to post bail and get back to their families and jobs while they wait for the wheels of justice to slowly churn. The list of issues that our communities do not understand goes on and on.
SO… we decided to put our experience with nonprofit leadership, law, community development, volunteer management, reentry and incarceration to work to help our community become a better place to receive our neighbors who are reentering society from our prisons and jails. We network with other nonprofits, churches, government organizations, the department of corrections and anyone else who wants to learn more about building our local capacity to help those effected by mass incarceration. We are “boots on the ground and head in the clouds” people who have great hope that local individuals and groups can be life changing forces if they better understand the problem and take small action.
And, thus, our mission:
to INSPIRE and COACH community minded individuals and groups into ACTION that improves our capacity to serve our Yamhill Valley neighbors transitioning from incarceration into mainstream society