A new nonprofit farming program, Bellfound Farm, aims to address numerous barriers women face when trying to re-enter society.
Employment, poverty and lack of access to mental health care are just a few of the issues women may face after prison.
The new 17 acre urban farm in Indianapolis will soon house up to 20 women who will work the farm while developing other life skills.
Nekoma Burcham is one of the founders and says women will be able to live on the farm for up to two years.
"There is healing power in being able to see something from start to finish so for the women that will come here, being self-sustaining, that’s powerful," says Burcham.
A majority of women in the criminal justice system have experienced trauma and mental health providers will be onsite to help the women. The women will help run the farm business that will also provide healthy food access for the community.
The farm is funded by the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana.
Burcham says the holistic approach gives women a better chance for success.
"It’s about laying that foundation of wellness so they can connect with other community partners and make the most of the programing that’s available," says Burcham.
The farm hopes to welcome its first residents within a few months.