SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — For the last 10 years, JUMPSTART has served 3,500 incarcerated men and women. This weekend, they opened the first homes in their new Restoration Village in Wellford. When it is completed, there will be more than 20 houses on the property.

“The ultimate plan is to have 106 people here annually who are going from prisoner to productive citizen,” said JUMPSTART Executive Director Cary Sanders.

JUMPSTART participants will move into the homes once they are released from prison. As part of the program, they will be connected with job opportunities. They will also take classes.

“We have a case manager,” said JUMPSTART’s Director of Community Relations Don Williams. “They’ll [residents] learn financial literacy, like how to budget. They’ll also learn about reintegrating into the workforce, including interview skills and soft skills.”

“We partner with nine other agencies in Spartanburg County to provide them with a holistic approach of services that provides them with everything they need to go from prisoner to productive citizen,” added Sanders.

Jennifer was one of the first participants to move into Restoration Village.

“I’ve been to prison three times,” she explained. “The first two times, I never knew anything about JUMPSTART. I knew that when I got out, I was probably going to be in the same situation I was before I went in. I was.”

Jennifer said she is determined to change her life this time.

“I’m going to give this my all, everything I’ve got, because I know I’m not going to fail this time.”

Sanders said the goal is to prepare residents, like Jennifer, for life after prison and ensure they can be self-sufficient.

“When men and women whose lives are off-track experience restoration, we all win. Not only does that individual win, it’s a win for their families and our entire community.”

Sanders said his team hopes to have the entire village built in the next three years.