Transitional Living Center continues to help women
Since 1987, the Transitional Living Center has been providing about 300 women a year with a place to live and services to help them re-enter society following their incarceration.
“We provide our residents with supervision and assistance,” said Nicole Miller, director of the program. “We provide them with a home-like atmosphere.”
“We have a professional staff person that provides coverage support services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help prepare each woman for their emotion, financial behavioral challenges, being independent,” she added.
The Transitional Living Center, which is a community-based nonprofit residential program, first opened a five-bed facility on Ross Street in the city. They then moved to another home on Third Street and now occupy both that and another home directly behind it on Maynard Street for a total of 34 beds.
Women coming to the center are either from state correctional institutions at Muncy or Cambridge. The center offers them the chance to “get back on their feet,” Miller said.
“We refer them out for drug and alcohol counseling and mental health counseling. We provide them with employment job skills to try to help them get a job, to start saving some money,” she added.
The residents are also given help in budgeting. The next step is to move them into a home plan that’s approved by their parole officer.
“Inside we do a housing group. We do a financial group. We do a living skills group, as well as how to be a better person,” Miller shared.
On the average, women stay in the program about three to four months. These would include women in both intermediate punishment parole cases as well as halfway back cases and also first-timers and repeat offenders. They can be single, married, divorced and with or without children. Although the center helps with the reunification process if the women do have children, no children live at the facilities.
Speaking of the benefits of the program for the women, who have no place to go after their incarceration, Miller said, “Obviously a lot of these women have spent a lot of time in prison. So, jumping right back in to society can be scary for a lot of these women because they haven’t necessarily been brought up in the most appropriate settings.”
“So, coming to a center like this, they learn what that should look like, what life should really look like. Take the time to slow down and prepare themselves instead of being thrown out there,” she added.