Resources for Returning Citizens and their Families

Written by Melanie G. Snyder on .

UPDATED August 7, 2017

The Lancaster County RMO is pleased to offer these resources for returning citizens and their families, as well as for professionals and others who work with them.

CRISIS HOTLINES

Lancaster Crisis Intervention: 717-394-2631

CONTACT Lancaster Hotline: 717-299-4855

 

OVERVIEW OF REENTRY RESOURCES AND STEPS TO TAKE WHEN RELEASED FROM PRISON/JAIL

Roadmap to Successful Reentry (NOTE: this document is designed to be printed double-sided, on legal sized paper)

SIDE 1: Roadmap to Successful Reentry

SIDE 2: Roadmap to Successful Reentry

 

IMMEDIATE NEEDS for FOOD and CLOTHING:

Lancaster County Council of Churches- 812 North Queen Street - Clients may visit the Council's Food Hub and the Clothing Bank on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. (Please note that to be served, you must be at the Council by 11:30am.)

Be sure to take along:
* PHOTO ID
* Social Security Card

The food hub and clothing bank are closed Wednesdays to process intakes and restock items.

Lancaster County Assistance Office - 832 Manor Street, Lancaster, PA - 717-299-7411
You can apply for emergency food stamps and Medical Assistance at County Assistance Office.
You can also apply for and renew your benefits from the comfort of your home using COMPASS, the online resource for cash assistance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), help with  

 

 

 

 

 

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OTHER FOOD RESOURCES 

Food Resources in Lancaster County (food banks, free meals, etc)   

OTHER CLOTHING RESOURCES

Lancaster County clothing banks listing

TOILETRIES, DIAPERS

The RMO office at 40 East King St (inside Adult Probation/Parole) has men's and women's toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, shaving supplies, women's hygiene supplies, etc) as well as baby diapers, if you are not able to afford these items.

CareerLink also has men's and women's toiletries.

HOUSING 

If you have an immediate housing crisis (homeless, being evicted, etc) - call 211 (or 717-291-5462) and ask to speak with the CHART workers.

Housing Resources in Lancaster County

Housing Tips for people with criminal backgrounds looking for housing in Lancaster County 

UTILITY ASSISTANCE

If you have trouble paying your heating bills during the winter, you may be able to get help through LIHEAP (cash) 717-299-7543 or LIHEAP (crisis) 717-299-7543.

You can also get utility help through Community Action Partnership (CAP)'s Utility Assistance at 717.299.7388. See details online at: http://www.caplanc.org/Our-Programs/Outreach

 

MEDICAL INSURANCE/MEDICAL CARE 

Getting help applying for medical insurance (including Medical Assistance)

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: Walgreens, Target and WalMart all offer low-priced generic prescription medications. Here are links to the medications they offer at very low prices (some as low as $4 per month)

(1)  List of WALMART’s low-priced generic prescription drugs:

http://i.walmartimages.com/i/if/hmp/fusion/customer_list.pdf

(2)  List of TARGET’s low-priced generic prescription drugs:

http://www.target.com/pharmacy/generics-condition

(3)  List of WALGREEN’s low-priced generic prescription drugs:

https://webapp.walgreens.com/MYWCARDWeb/pdf/Value-PricedGenericsList.pdf

 ADDICTION / D&A TREATMENT RESOURCES

Getting Help with County funded D&A treatment

AA meetings in Lancaster County

NA meetings in Lancaster County

Smart Recovery, Relapse Prevention and other D&A support groups through RASE Project in Lancaster

Recovery houses in Lancaster County

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

Mental Health resources and links 

Mental health medications - Mental Health America may be able to assist with mental health medications. Call MHA at 717-397-7461.

Mental Health Support Groups - see listing here

IDENTIFICATION

CareerLink can assist returning citizens with obtaining photo ID, birth certificates, Social Security cards. Go to CareerLink at 1016 North Charlotte St, Lancaster and ask to speak with someone in the Reentry Employment office.

PA CareerLink of Lancaster County: 

1016 N. Charlotte St.

Lancaster, PA 17603

PHONE:  717-509-5613

FAX:  717-509-5617

TTY: 717-391-3570

Website: http://www.jobs4lancaster.com/

EMPLOYMENT

CareerLink Reentry Employment Workshop schedule and checklist

CareerLink Day Reporting Center Information (NOTE: you must have a referral from your PO to participate in the Day Reporting Center program)

Job Search Checklist: a guide to the essential steps involved in searching for employment, especially for those who may have little to no prior employment experience. Produced by the Employment Action Team of the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness.

Job Search Checklist - Forms of Identification Required for Employment: Exhibit 1 of the Job Search Checklist

If you need help obtaining ID, please contact PA CareerLink of Lancaster County. Staff there can assist you in getting your birth certificate, Social Security card or state ID if you do not have these. 

 

FINANCIAL MATTERS

TRANSPORTATION

CareerLink can provide bus passes for people involved in the Reentry Employment Program.

The RMO Office at 40 East King St (inside Probation/Parole office) has day bus passes for returning citizens. 

 

SUPPORT GROUPS 

Successful Returning Citizens Mentoring Support Group - a weekly support group offering inspiration, encouragement and motivation for people with a criminal background, led by "experts by experience" - men and women who were former members of the drug, gang and criminal lifestyle, and are now business owners, multiple college degree holders and community leaders.

TWO MEETINGS EVERY WEEK

WEDNESDAY nights, 7pm-8:30pm, at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 701 North Lime St, Lancaster, PA.

MONDAY afternoons, NOON - 1pm, at CareerLink, 1016 North Charlotte St, Lancaster, PA.

 

GENERAL RESOURCES 

Self Sufficiency Reference Guide: a guide to Lancaster County, PA social service agencies, supportive services, free community meals, and other resources that can be helpful to individuals and families in the areas of housing, transportation, financial matters, parenting, health care, mental health, food, clothing, employment, education and other areas. Published in partnership with United Way of Lancaster County

In Lancaster County, you can also call "211" from any phone to be connected to the United Way's FREE resource referral hotline. Trained call specialists will provide information on a broad range of services, including basic needs, health care, youth programs, counseling, food banks, housing, aging services and more. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

RMO Reentry Life Skills course curriculum - includes chapters on probation & parole, legal and community resources, personal finances, housing, transportation, family responsibility & parenting, getting along with yourself & others, spiritual matters, health care, mental health, and alcohol and other drugs.

CHILDREN/FAMILY RESOURCES:

Ambassadors for Hope is a coalition of institutions, agencies, and individuals with a concern for children who have a parent who is incarcerated. The Network provides information to the public about the issue, seeks funding when it is available, and supports the local providers that actually do provide services.  Through a partnership between Ambassadors for Hope and CompassMark, there is a Family Services Advocate who can address the needs of children with incarcerated parents and their caregivers while a loved on is in prison. Contact Jennifer Strasenburgh for more information.

Office: (717) 299-2831
Cell Phone: (717) 847-9103
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to Explain Jails and Prisons to Children: A Caregivers Guide - this guide provides tips for caregivers and parents to answer children's questions about having a parent in prison or jail, how to support the child and the incarcerated parent, tips for visitation and letter writing between parent and child, and other essential information to support families through this difficult situation. Published in partnership with Children of Incarcerated Parents Network of Lancaster County. 

PROGRAMS FOR CAREGIVERS/ADULTS WITH AN INCARCERATED LOVED ONE

• Support group for adult family members and friends with a loved one in prison

LOCATION: Trinity Lutheran Church, 31 S Duke St, Lancaster, PA

TIME: 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, 6pm - 7:30pm

Contact: Trinity Lutheran Church, Phone 717-397-2734

Website: http://trinitylancaster.org/SupportGroup.pdf

• Children living with relatives other than mom or dad or unrelated adults are almost always eligible to receive cash assistance and medical assistance benefits. The adult has to apply at the Lancaster County Assistance Office.

Contact: 717-299-7421, or visit the office at 832 Manor Street,
Lancaster, PA

• Caregivers may also seek legal advice and advocacy from MidPenn Legal Services to obtain benefits for the children if they've been denied

Contact: 717-299-0971 and speak to reception staff.

Address: MidPenn Legal Services, 38 N. Christian Street, Suite 200, Lancaster, PA 17602

• Weekly Prayer Gathering for all involved in the criminal justice system held every non-holiday Monday from 12:05-12:35pm in Rengier Chapel at Trinity Lutheran Church, 31 S Duke St, Lancaster, PA. Phone: 717 397-2734.

  

CRIMINAL RECORD EXPUNGEMENT INFO

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE 

Victim Offender Conferencing - overview letter

Victim Offender Conferencing brochure