November 28, 2023

New program connects people in community corrections to food

WFYI file photo

WFYI file photo

People who enter the Marion County Community Corrections home detention program will be connected with food options through a new initiative. The idea behind the plan came from local case managers.

The Welcome Home Initiative will provide food and hygiene products to people leaving the jail for home detention. MCCC Executive Director Scott Hohl said people are being processed at all hours of the day.

“An opportunity now for those individuals who might be leaving in the evening after pantries and different things have already closed for the day, and then having something to help them through a day, two days, three days,” Hohl said.

According to Hohl, most clients entering community corrections do have somewhere to stay for home detention, but about 10 percent do not have housing.

In the past, MCCC has only given people some details about local service agencies as they enter electronic monitoring. The new approach will provide a small kit with essentials and service information as clients head to home detention. There will also be a food pantry at the processing center where people can pick out what they need.

“It’s basically like a checklist of different items that we would have in that pantry that they would be able to select,” Hohl said. “Because we don't want to just give people like cans of food that they will never end up using.”

MCCC doesn't know how many may be served every month; it could total a few hundred people. The agency has partnered with Northview Church to provide the food.

Christina Cesnik is a communications specialist working with MCCC.  She said their goal is to set people up for success.

“Make sure that we connect people with the community organizations in their neighborhoods,” Cesnik said. “I feel like if our clients are able to connect with their neighbors and their neighbors connect back with them, then they would feel more grounded.”

A list of needed items can be found here.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org.

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