Released and Restored

Staff counsel residents at Moncton Greenfield House
by Linda Leigh
Categories: Articles, Blog, Feature, Newswire
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When the prison doors open and the offender is conditionally released, what happens next? There are several challenges faced by offenders at the time of their release and The Salvation Army in Moncton, N.B., is helping them successfully transition back into the community.

“The Salvation Army’s Greenfield House is a residential facility that offers a reintegration program for conditionally released male and female offenders,” says Alex Greening, Executive Director. “Then, when they are released back into the community, we provide after-care as long as needed. For some, our encouragement and support continues for years.”

Many conditionally released offenders are challenged by issues such as poor inter-personal skills, lack of planning and financial management skills, mental health issues as a result of substance abuse and addiction, loneliness and low self-esteem, which make it difficult to transition back into the community. 

“One individual was in prison for 44 years,” says Greening. “We have to deinstitutionalize him. It’s only natural it will take a long time for him to adjust and transition. Another participant came to us after serving a life sentence. We’ve been working with him for eight years. He now has a job, a bank account and increased confidence.”

Support from Greenfield House help to build stronger relationships between participants and their families, provide tools and knowledge for independent living, find solutions to better handle life situations, set realistic goals and more.

“It comes down to trust and a listening ear,” says Greening. “If we can instill a spark of hope, participants will keep it going.”

“Greenfield House treated me with respect and provided all that I needed to get back into my community,” says one participant. “My history was taken into consideration but I was given a second chance.”

“The people who walk through our doors come from experiences most of us could never imagine and want to improve their life,” says Greening. “We are a stepping stone to help ease them back into society. They are just looking for someone to care.”