Pushing Envelope Chicago’s Re-Entry working group supports and builds community with formerly incarcerated members while they navigate the parole or release process. We provide small scale as-needed financial support for housing, utility and phone bills, transportation, gender affirming clothes and hygiene products, food and more. We also help with resource navigation and collaborate with like minded organizations to ensure our folks connect to affirming and appropriate resources. We aim to provide this support while eliminating the institutional barriers of traditional nonprofits, instead truly meeting each person where they are at, and building a loving and supportive community.
Our re-entry working group is located in Chicago and predominantly supports people being released in and around Chicago, but is open to short-term resource navigation for people anywhere in Illinois. We support anyone currently incarcerated and nearing their parole release date, or formerly incarcerated in and around Chicago, who identifies as lgbtq+, who is living with HIV, and/or is required to register due to a sex offense on their background. We recognize the unique challenges that people on the registry face during the parole and re-entry process, as well as the homophobia and transphobia built into registry laws, and are committed to doing whatever we can to support.
We apply for a few microgrants with the financial support of our fiscal sponsor, Diverse & Resilient. Currently, we have small grants thanks to Resist, Julian Grace, and Crossroads. Outside of grants, we independently fundraise through a patreon. [insert all the links here?]
In 2021, the Re-entry Working Group supported over 25 people exiting prison and fundraised over $20k in direct support:
$3.7k on bus passes & transportation
$10k+ on rent
$1.6k on hotels & emergency housing
$3.5k on gift cards for clothing & necessities
$1.4k on misc. bills & emergency needs