Operation New Hope is expanding into St. Johns County with a new Ready4Work program location in St. Augustine.
The facility at 83 Washington St. opens its doors Monday for the first time to help people returning from incarceration.
“We basically help them get employment,” say Program Director Reggie Fullwood. “We have a classroom component to where they learn life skills, workforce development training.”
Fullwood says their goal is to help people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system get back on their feet again.
“Five hundred people came through our program in 2019,” Fullwood says. “Of those 500 people, less than 10 percent went back to prison or committed a crime.”
He says the state rate is more like 25 percent of people who get out of prison commit crimes and go back to prison.
Kevin Gay is the founder and CEO of Operation New Hope, and he says the program is possible because of generous support from various organizations in the community.
“We are excited to continue to build partnerships with employers and community members who believe we are all better than or worst mistake,” Gay says in a statement.