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A New Way Of Life Reentry Project (ANWOL)

Los Angeles United States of America
December 2011

Grant Description

In early December 2011, UAF received a request from A New Way of Life Reentry Project (ANWOL) to respond to a recent city ordinance that would displace formerly incarcerated women and their children. Formed in 1998, ANWOL represents a unique model of prison rehabilitation and reentry in Los Angeles that provides safe, clean, sober homes for formerly incarcerated women and their children, offers them education and job training, and supports their transition back into society. The recently proposed city ordinance would specify that two or more probationers or parolees cannot live in the same house in a single-family residential zone, a requirement that would make all of ANWOL’s five community-based reentry homes in violation. ANWOL says that the women currently at these homes would be evicted, which “would result in homelessness for a population who already faces discriminatory barriers when attempting to address housing.” Working in partnership with a variety of other local mental health, homelessness, and reentry organizations, ANWOL plans to engage its activist group, called Women Organizing for Justice to prevent the approval of the ordinance. Specifically, ANWOL proposes to use funds to have formerly incarcerated women and other women that would be affected by the ordinance meet with local policy makers to express their concerns with the ordinance, which is currently in the public discussion phase of the approval process.

According to endorsers, “ANWOL is a pioneer and leader in our region on community-based rehabilitation” and not only provides services but “engages in sustained and effective policy advocacy and therefore is well positioned to make the impact they wish to make.”

Impact Report

Funds were used to transport women to meet with members of the Los Angeles City Council to oppose the city ordinance that would negatively affect reentry housing in the city. Two of the fourteen council offices agreed to meet ANWOL’s delegation, which was composed of formerly incarcerated women who had gone through its housing program as well as some allied women and children. At the meetings, women spoke openly about how reentry housing has made a huge difference in their lives and how a community self-monitoring program could more effectively resolve the complaints of noise and disturbances that prompted residents of rich neighborhoods to propose this ordinance. The delegation found the local officials receptive to their message and at the time of reporting are still optimistic that the ordinance will be voted down. The Executive Director notes “whether or not the ordinance is defeated, this was a valuable experience for our women, the opportunity to speak and know that people will listen.”