Pivot, PJI receive grant to provide emergency assistance to returning citizens

Pivot Program graduate hugs a supporter

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The Georgetown Pivot Program and the Prisons and Justice Initiative were awarded over $170,000 in grant funding to directly support students experiencing hardship in the transition home from incarceration. 

The grant from the D.C. Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG) channels funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act that allows Georgetown to provide relief to students in our reentry programs for costs that could otherwise derail their education and create further instability. The grant was awarded in May and runs through September. 

“This grant helps us level up our reentry support in a big way. In addition to our employment work, we can now address another major obstacle to homecoming: housing insecurity,” said Joshua Miller, PJI Director of Education. “We’re grateful to our partners in the DC government for recognizing and supporting returning citizens’ needs so they can focus on their future.”

The goal of OVSJG’s flexible funding is to “assist with reintegration, avoid homelessness and reduce recidivism.” Through the grant, students and recent alumni in the Pivot Program, the MORCA-Georgetown Paralegal Program, and the Prison Scholars Program can receive assistance with costs related to housing, childcare, food, clothing, technology, transportation, and other unforeseen expenses. 

Several program participants have already received support.

With the reimbursable grant funding, the Pivot Program and PJI are better positioned to respond quickly to the needs of returning citizens and the unique reentry challenges they face. The ability to swiftly step in to cover the costs of a security deposit on an apartment, reliable childcare when a school is closed, or medical expenses not covered by other benefits can make an immense difference in an individual’s success in a Georgetown program and their larger reentry process. 

“Many returning citizens want to invest time and energy into their long-term goals, but with so many reentry challenges, it’s easy to get stuck just trying to make ends meet,” said Tyrone Walker, PJI Director of Reentry Services. “Initiatives like this grant from OVSJG get to the heart of reducing recidivism and helping people find success.”

The grant may also be used to invest in students’ long-term success, providing laptops and professional clothing when graduates are entering the workforce full-time.