We believe in the power of personal transformation and healing. Our Transformation programs offer people an opportunity to address the root causes of their behaviors, make amends, and forge a new path for their futures. We work with people who are incarcerated and with the survivors of their harm.
The first step to repairing harm is to take accountability. The Resolve to Stop the Violence Project provides a supportive and educational environment for men who are incarcerated in San Francisco County jail. These men have committed violent crimes and have agreed to take accountability for their actions, understand their own emotional histories, and commit to leading lives free of violence. Grounded in the practices of restorative justice, RSVP participants engage in a 40 hour-per-week schedule that includes a rigorous education and peer-to-peer mentoring model. This program fosters personal accountability, transformation, and healing. The manalive curriculum provides the theoretical underpinning for RSVP using a gender-based analysis of violence. The manalive process involves analyzing and unlearning the “Male Role Belief System” of superiority and dominance, and provides education and practice of emotional literacy and intimacy.
“RSVP has changed my life and the lives of my family drastically. The way I communicate with my partner and interact with my son have been far more nurturing. I’ve been given a boost of confidence and self-esteem through RSVP. The program has changed the way I think, speak, and behave. Instead of giving up on myself, I now continue to empower myself by learning.” – Raya
Our Survivor Empowerment Program provides support circles, education, family support, and other services to survivors of domestic violence. Many of the participants in our SEP program are survivors of the harm caused by men in our RSVP program. Participants learn safety skills, access resources to care for their basic needs and those of their children, and receive therapeutic and peer support to facilitate their healing.
One Family is a family-focused program for currently (or formerly) incarcerated mothers and fathers in custody and post-release in San Francisco County. One Family participants are supported in realizing their full potential as parents by offering one-on-one therapy and counseling, in-depth parenting classes, and contact visits in a welcoming playroom instead of through a window. Our clients expand their skills and choices on how they can parent their child despite their separation.
We find ways to keep parents and children feeling connected in momentous moments— both the good and the bad. We help incarcerated parents participate in virtual parent-teacher conferences through a partnership with San Francisco Unified School District. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, we facilitated special virtual visits where parents could “see” their children on their birthdays or other momentous days. We facilitate family transition circles for children to say goodbye to a parent who has been sentenced to prison– often to locations that will make regular visiting difficult if not impossible.
What do visits mean to me? I could say they mean the world to me but it doesn’t even describe the amount of joy I feel getting to see my kids, being able to hug, and kiss, and hold them… I feel like child visits are the most influential thing that gets me through the week.
It’s very important to us as fathers to see and hold our children.Fathers need to connect and have a relationship with their children. One Family gives us the opportunity to stay and keep that connection and relationship. Incarceration hasn’t stopped us from being fathers.