SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new local survey is shedding light on the challenges people face when they’re going from jail to a job.
Unemployment was at 3.5 percent but among formerly incarcerated people in the U.S., it’s now at 27 percent, a historic high.
Locally, a survey was conducted of greater Springfield area and while housing and employment were what respondents said they wanted the most, the survey found many have a tough time getting either.
Nearly half of respondents said they do not work for pay. A third of formerly incarcerated respondents said they were less likely to have stable housing.
Ann Candilis is the Director of Springfield WORKS. She said part of the challenge is connecting people with resources, “40 percent of the respondents said they didn’t know where or how to access resources, so our thinking is we can do this better in a more collaborative fashion. And when we do that we leverage our resources to serve families.”
Springfield WORKS, an initiative of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, is spearheading the project through the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment grant. Candilis said they are planning to apply for another grant to continue the work.