Spartanburg, SC (WSPA) – There’s an organization that helps people transition back into society after getting out of prison and its expanding. Jumpstart is building two dozen modular homes in Spartanburg County.
A few neighbors we spoke with declined to go on camera, some saying that people do need help, they just don’t want that help to happen in their backyards.
“You get dropped off at the bus station with a one way ticket and get off the bus there at the greyhound station and there’s no one to greet them, then mentally they go into survival mode.” Co-Founder, Jumpstart, Don Williams said.
Don Williams and two friends started jumpstart after they got out of prison themselves… and started looking for a fresh start.
“It’s looking hopeless; I’ve got to do what I know best that’s why jumpstart is here.” Williams said.
Now they own 26 acres near Wingo road, they’ll consolidate the 12 other houses they currently have into their new training facility calling it restoration village.
Cary Sanders started the program while he was in prison and years later became the Executive Director of the program.
“I’m convinced that restoration village and jumpstart is something the Spartanburg community should be extremely proud of.” Jumpstart, Executive Director, Cary Sanders said.
Jumpstarts track record since 2008, has kept 96 percent of program graduates from going back to prison, the program starts working with the incarcerated nearly two years before their release.
In the village the program continues for one year after the person is released.
“To insure that restoration village is safe for the community we have camera systems in place to monitor behavior, we have staff who are going to live on sight and we also regularly require participants to submit to drug testing and other things to help monitor their behavior.” Sanders said.
Twenty-two modular transition homes will be built for both men and women.
Among other things the intense program requires self-reflection to pin-point where negative behaviors began.
The start date for construction is set for mid-July, the site-work is said to be done by mid-December.
Jumpstart has 30 employment partners who help give people in the program jobs.