There is a new resource to help people who are leaving jail in Marion County.
A City-County Council community affairs committee introduced the re-entry packets after a needs analysis. Lena Hackett with the Marion County Re-entry Coalition said they reached out to ex-offenders for advice.
"What we heard from them is that it all needs to be in one packet," Hackett said. "It needs to be waterproof and it needs to be simple."
The 5,000 plastic packets include a mask, hand sanitizer and a 10-day IndyGo bus pass. It also has a ticket that people can exchange for a back-pack full of supplies including food and hygiene products.
People will have to go to PACE or Horizon House for the backpack with the goal of better connecting with services. Hackett with the Marion County Re-entry Coalition said this will help assess effectiveness.
"We’re using these tickets as a way to evaluate if these packets matter," Hackett said. "So we want to know once 5,000 packets are distributed, did they actually help get people connected to services."
Hackett said finding affordable housing is the biggest barrier for people leaving the criminal justice system.