Giving People a Second Chance - Winter 2017 Newsletter

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

MCRI logo

February 9, 2017

LEAD model to address needs of people with addictions

LEAD graphic

Marion County is actively working to bring LEAD to the Salem area. LEAD, or Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, was developed in Seattle. The program combines law enforcement, health care and social services to work with people who have records of multiple arrests, primarily for drug possession and other “livability” crimes, but not “victim-related”crimes.  

People benefitting from LEAD typically exhibit high risk, addiction-based behavior and have multiple needs, such as homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse, and mental health issues. LEAD’s target population is not likely to engage in treatment services without intense intervention.

As a “harm reduction model,” LEAD meets clients “where they are” and wraps services around them. Seattle’s LEAD program focused on two neighborhoods. LEAD, as developed locally, will focus on the top 100 utilizers of jail and emergency room services, focusing on people living in downtown Salem and along the Lancaster Drive corridor in East Salem.

Navigators will help people access treatment services from the first point of police contact. Deputy District Attorney Paige Clarkson is leading the interagency effort. She said, “The District Attorney’s Office is expanding the tools we use to increase public safety. Diversion programs like LEAD can have a significant impact on changing people’s lives by connecting them to the services they really need, thus making the entire community safer and stronger.”

Volunteers inspire success

Volunteer and youth

More than twenty people signed up at the October 2016 Giving People a Second Chance community breakfast to help with the new Inspire program. At the February 1 kickoff event, eight volunteers hosted more than twenty clients and their children, making valentines and making new friends.  

Catherine Trottman coordinates the volunteers who offer social and educational skill-building opportunities for reentry clients. “It’s been great to see the range of ideas and work with the Community Corrections staff to match volunteer skills with what clients need,” she said.

“The February 1 workshop at Chemeketa Community College was a way for people to get to know one another,” Catherine added. Clients proposed workshops on a myriad of topics, including budgeting, couponing, fitness and wellness, knitting, sign language, kickboxing, grief and loss, manicures/make-up/hair, and cooking on a budget. To volunteer, or for more information, visit our website

Workshop participants

County launches Community Resource Network

Photo of hands

Visit to become a part of a collaborative community network that is connecting resources to children and families in our community by linking organizations together to achieve a collective impact.

The Marion County Children & Families Commission recently launched the Community Resource Network, or CRN, to connect people with resources. CRN puts organizations in touch with each other to easily share information, seek help with unmet needs or develop community-wide events.

CRN is free. Any organization, including governments, nonprofits, and for profit organizations registered in Oregon, is eligible to become a member. CRN complements 211Info which helps organizations and community members find needed services.

Once registered, CRN members can log on to the network to post or review requests. Requests are sent to members via email and members control what type of requests they receive, based on their profile.

For more information, contact Krista Ulm or Mary Grim with the Marion County Community Services Department at (503) 588-7975 or email

Union Gospel Mission welcomes new Transition Services staff

Aaron Norris

Aaron Norris returned to Union Gospel Mission of Salem as Transitional Services Administrator in November. Aaron oversees programs at Restoration House, Greer Street and the Greer Street Annex.

Most recently Aaron was a Christian school principal in Washington. Other experience included working as program counselor at Union Gospel Mission of Salem. “It’s great to be back in Salem and serving individuals and the community in this way,” he said.  

Aaron assumes his new from responsibilities Shane Conaway, who recently accepted a position in Oklahoma.  Shane was instrumental in transitioning Restoration House (previously Stepping Out Ministries) from an independent non-profit to a Union Gospel Mission program. “Without Shane’s efforts, bridge funding from local philanthropists and the support of Union Gospel Mission, our community would have lost a tremendous resource,” stated Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson.  

Transition Services provides supportive housing, case management and connections to local resources for men reentering the community from incarceration.  “Clients typically commit to working with us for 9-12 months, which allows them time to get settled in the community,” said Aaron. Union Gospel Mission works with clients who reside at sponsored housing, as well as those who have moved to permanent housing. “We do our best to make sure they have a support system and demonstrated success before reducing contact,” Aaron noted. “Then we follow up a couple of times a year to let them know the door is open, should they want to reconnect.”

Welcome back, Aaron!

Success story: Ray Garcia

Ray Garcia

Ray Garcia was initially reluctant to visit the De Muniz Resource Center. He was serving a sanction at the Marion County Transition Center, when he was encouraged to attend an orientation.  At the orientation, Ray learned about the reentry initiative and its second-chance advocate partners who are charged with a passion to help with reentry success.  He chose to speak up about his challenges and subsequently returned to the resource center to finish the resume he had started while at Columbia River Correctional Institution.

Ray was able to secure full-time employment with a roofing company through a family member of a former fellow inmate.  Resource center staff helped Ray schedule a meeting with Laura Shaver, employment specialist, for help in acquiring equipment needed for his new job: boots, rain gear, and pants. 

Laura researched options and accessed the Client Support Fund to help Ray with his financial barriers to employment. Client support funds are raised at the annual Giving People a Second Chance community breakfast to help with this type of need.

To secure his employment and housing, Ray also needed Oregon identification.  De Muniz center staff helped him contact the Division of Motor Vehicles and vital statistics to obtain identification. When he receives his birth certificate, Ray will return to the De Muniz Resource Center for an I.D. voucher and referral to St. Vincent de Paul. There a volunteer will accompany him through the final steps of obtaining his Oregon identification. Ray is also working with reentry resource center staff to connect with other resources and housing. 

Reentry initiative partners directly supported and celebrated Ray’s success. These include the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency’s De Muniz Resource Center and ARCHES program, St. Vincent de Paul and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Community Corrections Division and Transition Center. Congratulations Ray!

Reentry council becomes Justice Reinvestment Council

The Marion County Reentry Council was created by Sheriff Jason Myers in 2010. The council is comprised of leaders engaged in Marion County’s nationally-recognized prison reentry initiative. In December, the council agreed to broaden its scope to encompass not only prison reentry, but also prison and jail diversion services, given Marion County’s efforts with the state Justice Reinvestment Initiative. To reflect this new scope, the council will change its name to Marion County Justice Reinvestment Council. Additional members will be recruited to reflect this new mission. 

Current council members include:

Patrice Altenhofen, Executive Director, Family Building Blocks
Walt Beglau, Marion County District Attorney
Kevin Cameron, Marion County Commissioner
Janet Carlson, Marion County Commissioner
Tamra Goettsch, Director, Marion County Community Services
Julie Huckestein, President, Chemeketa Community College
Jeanine Knight, Director of Programs, Union Gospel Mission of Salem
Michael Laharty, Executive Director/CEO, Creekside Counseling
Tim Murphy, Executive Director, Bridgeway Recovery Services
Jason Myers, Marion County Sheriff
Jon Reeves, Executive Director, Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency
Dick Withnell, Community Representative
Commander Jeff Wood, Chair, Marion County Community Corrections Division

For more information about the Justice Reinvestment Council, visit our website