is a project by Barbara J. Hertz, Certified (credentialed) New Jersey secondary school teacher, Cert. manager-labor mediation, MA. Cert. Title 766, I.E.P., medical/surgical research technician, Inside-Out Counselor, adult educator, farmer since 1974, social reformer.
A grant is needed for infrastructure for group workshops to support the social and emotional needs of formerly incarcerated persons (“members”) self-development to re-generate their integrity with renewed and enhanced capacities. Teamed in rotating groups of 2 or 3, these encourage their partner(s) so as to transform into self-direction and accountability from self-designated tasks.
5. In a series of intensive-short sessions, practice in socialization skills with increased educational opportunities yield proficiency.
6. The ‘intended’ populations are ambulatory and intending to live without addictions. Re-Genesis.Renewal is purposed to provide members with those appropriate social supports needed to permit them to achieve sufficient academic standards to encourage their life-time of continuing education, to advance to their potential competency with qualifications to achieve in various disciplines (agriculture, trades, administration, etc.).
7. Each member should commit to join Re-Genesis.Renewal for a minimum of two years: the first year for restoring discipline, overcoming bad habit and GED or other academic remediation is coupled with daily work activities, including farming, accounting, sharing trade skills and exploring job prospects.
8. Conflicts are dealt with in facilitated daily “encounter” sessions.
9. An administrator will be responsible to arrange work crews, locate prospective material sources, apprenticeships, schooling and small Organic farms where members may be employed as farm managers. Any member may become an administrator.
10. In the second year (and thereafter as required), innovators are
paired with entrepreneurs (as available) who may provide insights and direction to the members to assist their implementation and management and agency contacts for funding as appropriate.
Nature of Program
Re-Genesis.Renewal seeks to enhance the academic level of each member together with improved socialization skills needed to succeed in the workplace as fully contributing, renewed social members. Every modern human should be versed in ‘preppie’ survival skills, to create simple shelters, identify cultivated and wild edibles, be appreciative of dietary limitations and be able to prepare suitable foods for various needs.
a. From the initial intake interview, each member is asked to participate with the program for a minimum of two years.
b. Due to years of isolated living in severely hostile environments resulting in untrusting (self-survival) hardening, establishing trust in the “Re-Genesis family” can restore humanness instincts; sensitivity training will replace negative responses with honesty and caring for others; there is a zero tolerance for violence, drug and alcohol use. (Internet and cell phone use should be regulated.)
c. Construction trade and craft skills are shared between members – thereby “each one teach one” is the motto for disseminating both newly learned and known skills.
d. Understanding the variety of woodworking joinery methods necessary for structural design, permits appropriate applications of butt, miter, tongue & groove and notched logs joints. Construction methods explored include block, adobe, brick & mortar, plank, logs and straw bales.
e. Harvesting trees for logs and clearing fallow land are preliminary to conquering a physical space to make it creatively productive; likewise transformation by re-generation renews the psychological and moral space need to consider productive, reformative enterprises, with the potential for correcting some causes of the damaged social fabric resulting in poverty, homelessness and displaced veterans.
f. The first year comprises focused activities, learning to take instruction to benefit from formal education, coupled with remediation to overcome destructive habits antithetic to learning and caring.
g. Agriculture & horticulture, such as clearing land at one’s own pace is competing with oneself. Cooperating in a group, installing fencing, planting, cultivating and harvesting crops, can yield marketable products.
h. Members are encouraged to generate markets for farm-grown produce, eggs, yoghurt, honey and construction projects, i.e. ‘birdhouses’ and ‘sheds.’
i. Resulting from some training, encounter-group-facilitators rotate so as to provide each member the opportunity to be a designated “leader” to experience the responsibilities of providing encouragement and direction.
j. Until ‘honesty’ and ‘caring for others’ become habits and all hostility or aggressive behavior is eliminated, the motto is “fake it until you make it.”
k. Some members may elect to pursue farming – as Organic farm or Community Garden managers. Organic farms may be preserved as satellites of Re-Genesis.Renewal, while the owners remain in their life-estate.
a. After two years, each member should successfully integrate coping skills that avert hostility and each member should accomplish their self-selected skills-set necessary to achieve self-supporting independent living.
b. The operation is successful when each member is able to establish and maintain a friendly connection with the Re-Genesis members and their ‘home’ family, be self-supporting in satisfying work and independent (or group) living.
a. Water-well repair or a public water hook-up will need to be installed.
b. The driveway and parking areas require repair to provide for deliveries also of building materials or ‘pre-fab’ structures.
c. In addition to transporting resident members, ‘day workers’ who reside within commuting distance may be transported daily to and from the train station in a leased of donated van.
d. Growing season (non-winter) short-term housing will need to be arranged. A sleeping-space “trailer” (±28’x60’) may serve also for meal preparation and as a meeting place.
e. Members’ construction projects of birdhouses, storage sheds and prototype models of ‘Humble Homes-Simple Shack, can be sold. ‘Tiny House’ shelters respond to the question: “Can Tiny Homes Solve Homelessness in the US?”
f. A “Main House” can be constructed using some members’ labor with direction and assistance by volunteer contractors. The house should include a commercial kitchen and ‘group-eating’ area to become a future restaurant, and the Farm-Manager’s suite on the second floor.
V. The Project Duration:
a. The Program should continue as long as there are formerly incarcerated and homeless persons in Morris and Passaic County who need support to overcome deficiencies in their education and socialization skills, training in trades, marketable work skills, and experience in farm-management.
b. The resident ‘operations manager’ is responsible for all operations, including procuring and preparing meals for members, maintaining the farm and animals over the winter months, providing instruction, and transporting participants to and from the train station; annual salary is $25,000/yr.
c. Two (or more) graduating members could share responsibilities as operations managers.
VI. The Program Should be Self-Sustaining:
a. As each enterprise becomes established, the member-residents contribute the earnings to the community from their occupation in furniture moving, catering, automotive and small engine repair, construction trades, etc. Horticultural and agricultural product sales support the ‘farming.’
b. When farm products provide sufficient income, application for “farmland preservation” can apply towards the farm purchase by the organization. Function may be revised to include a care-facility where members may earn State qualifications in care-giving professions including R.N., L.P.N., Drug Avoidance Counseling, E.M.T. etc..
a. Amongst contemporary supporters of enhanced educational and socialization skills for successful re-integration for formerly incarcerated, is the Delancey Street Foundation, centered in San Francisco, CA., founded by Mimi Silbert, Ph.D. since 1970, D.S.F. includes many commercial enterprises, where members work and live in Delancey Street Foundations in 6 cities.
b. For 20 years, Psychiatrist Karl Menninger, M.D. studied the Delancey Street Foundation compared with other such organizations around the world. Unique amongst the various models, Delancey Street has no professional staff of counselors; guidance is provided by home-grown facilitators in daily group meeting. The D.S.F. program has consistently demonstrated a 90% success rate.
c. San Francisco Delancey Street Foundation established a Charter High School for pre-delinquent and delinquent boys where the formerly incarcerated counsel the young on strategies for recognizing and avoiding the incentives towards crime and addiction.
VIII. New Jersey Resources:
a. New Jersey’s Senator Cory Booker is a proponent of concepts espoused by attorney Brian Stevens, Esq., in Just Mercy and Lewis Steele, Esq., who described his experience as an ACLU lawyer fighting for the rights of the wrongly incarcerated. The Butler’s Child.
b. “Martin’s Place” in Jersey City New Jersey “Employment & Training Project” (JCETP) and the ReEntry Project, has a budget of over $7,000,000 for a three year program with a 75% success rate. With recognition also by Governor Chris Christy, the ReEntry program is administrated by CEO former Governor James McGreevey, John Koufos, Executive Director and CFO Gerry DelPiano.
For more information please call (or email)
Phone (973) 334-3331;