The merger allows A New Way of Life to expand its reach to Long Beach and serve a far greater number of formerly incarcerated women with housing and other services.
LOS ANGELES (December 18, 2018) — A New Way of Life Reentry Project is expanding its ability to provide safe housing for formerly incarcerated women in Southern California by merging with Harbour Area Halfway Houses, Inc. in Long Beach.
The merger gives A New Way of Life access to two more houses and 24 more beds, bringing the organization’s total capacity to seven homes and 55 beds. The merger also allows the organization to expand from its base in the Watts neighborhood of South Los Angeles into the Long Beach area.
Because of their shared mission, becoming one organization is a natural fit. A New Way of Life was founded in South Los Angeles in 1998 by Susan Burton and has provided housing for more than 1,000 formerly incarcerated women and their children, in addition to serving nearly 3,000 men and women with its legal clinics. Harbour Area Halfway Houses, Inc. was founded in 1971 by Dorothy Hoffman, taking in women who are in their final months of a prison term or who have just been released from prison, in addition to providing more independent living for longer-term residents. Harbour will come under the umbrella of A New Way of Life, but its two houses will retain their names — Hoffman House and Holland House — as “Projects of A New Way of Life.” The merger is also in keeping with A New Way of Life’s stated goal of helping other organizations and individuals replicate its model.
“We’re very excited to expand our services into Long Beach. This is a great opportunity for us to keep much-needed beds open for women reentering society from incarceration,” says Michael Towler, co-director of A New Way of Life. “By applying our proven reentry model to these two homes and infusing them with funding, we can empower even more women to be better mothers, citizens and people.”
“This merger continues the dream of Dorothy Hoffman when she bought the first house with the help of the Long Beach Council of Churches over 45 years ago: a vision of a safe place for women to recover from the trauma of the criminal justice system, substance abuse and domestic violence,” says Barry Rubin, treasurer of the board of trustees for Harbour Area Halfway Houses, Inc. “We are thrilled that A New Way of Life has picked up the torch to empower women who are returning to their rightful places in the community. Indeed, Susan Burton herself is a testament to positive change, to passion and to bettering the future and is therefore a most worthy inheritor and guardian of both Hoffman House and Holland House. I look forward to serving on the merged board during this transition phase and seeing the fruits of new energy.”
The merger and name change are effective immediately.
About A New Way of Life
In 1998, Susan Burton founded A New Way of Life Reentry Project (ANWOL) to help women, families, and communities break the cycle and heal from the formidable experiences of incarceration. ANWOL advances multi-dimensional solutions to the effects of incarceration, including (1) providing housing and support to formerly incarcerated women for successful community reentry, family reunification, and individual healing; (2) working to restore the civil rights of formerly incarcerated people; and (3) empowering, organizing, and mobilizing formerly incarcerated people as advocates for social change and personal transformation.
A New Way of Life envisions a world where every person can make decisions for his/her own life, is accountable for those decisions, and is valued as a contributing member of the community. ANWOL has been a driving force in considerable policy reforms, including the ban-the-box ordinances and the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act (Proposition 47), a historic measure to reverse decades of antiquated approaches to community safety and justice, properly redirecting costly prison construction and management resources to education, reentry, and victims’ services.