What Is PowerNet?
PowerNet of Dayton is a grassroots, community based, not-for-profit organization founded in June of 2002 to empower poor inner-city communities to define and enhance their quality of life. After spending our first 12 months doing community organizing, social service and grassroots (door-to-door) research, coalition building, conducting focus groups and think tanks, and building relationships with community and faith based groups from different religious traditions, PowerNet came to the very clear and definitive conclusion that a comprehensive, faith based, family centered ex-offender reentry initiative was the best possible strategy for addressing the greatest challenges, i.e., crime and poverty, which limit the quality of life within inner-city communities.
The subsequent 12 months were dedicated to a national search for best practices and evidenced based programs and attending ex-offender reentry workshops and conferences around the country. It was also very important during this time period to network and build relationships with service providers and major stakeholders to determine our optimal role in addressing reentry in our county. It became apparent to us, based on what we had learned and the current challenges in our community, that reentry had to begin within the prison before individuals are released. We also determined that this reentry program needed to be strength-based and begin at least one year prior to release to allow us to both build the type of relationships with the inmates which allows us to advocate for the services, resources and opportunities to support their successful re-integration and also to provide enough time for individuals to develop the type of attitude, thinking, behaviors and habits that will serve them best upon release.
Therefore we created the GEM Leadership Development Program which identifies individuals with felony records who want to turn their lives around and then helps them to create a personal vision, develop a career plan and then to access the opportunities to realize their goals. PowerNet is committed to working with or supporting the work of any organization or group which can help to provide or access the resources and services these individuals and their families need to be successful.
To improve our community by facilitating the social, economic and political re-integration of incracerated, formerly incarcerated and other citizens with felony records and their families.
1. Offering our clients opportunities for positive change.
2. Increasing public safety.
3. Improving economy viability and enhancing over all quality of life in urban communities
A society where formerly incarcerated citizens are valued contributors to the welfare and prosperity of their neighborhoods.
PowerNet’s existence and operation are based on a set of core values that have guided the creation of our goals and objectives, the development of our methodologies and strategies as well as the implementation of our programs and initiatives from the very beginning. These core values relate to:
- The importance of coordinating, cooperating and collaborating with other faith and community based organizations, private corporations and governmental agencies to improve the individual and collective effectiveness and efficiency of our services in the community.
- The wisdom of identifying and developing leadership from among the grassroots community to have optimal long-term success in any community based initiative.
- The value of targeting the root systemic cause(s) of the issues of greatest concern when responding to community needs.
- The intelligence of utilizing best practices to achieve the most desirable outcomes and impact.
- The compassion of building meaningful, long-term relationships with the individuals and families who want to change their lives.
How Will We Accomplish Our Mission?
PowerNet brings together volunteers to do research, community organizing, community education and advocacy, coalition building, strategic planning, program development and evaluation, and resource gathering. PowerNet facilitates the process of prioritizing the issues of greatest concern to the individuals who live, work or own businesses in the targeted community.
We subsequently engage these citizens in the planning and implementation of the most appropriate goals, objectives, strategies, and actions to address the issues identified ,e.g. crime, unemployment, economic deprivation, poor housing, lack of youth opportunities, poor health, poor self-esteem, hopelessness
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