Achieving Today. Sustaining for the Future.
The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts

Grants Awarded to Dismas House of Massachusetts

Grants Awarded to Dismas House of Massachusetts$243,413
Dismas House Reentry Initiative - Planning (2011)$138,413
Dismas House Farm (2008)$50,000
Father John Brooks House (2007)$20,000
The Almost Home Program (2005)$35,000
Year:2011Amount: $138,413
Title:Dismas House Reentry Initiative - Planning
Grant Type: Synergy Initiative - Worcester Initiative for Supported Reentry (WISR)
There is currently no government entity at either the state or federal level that is charged with addressing issues of prisoner reentry. Dismas House will use this planning grant to gather information about successful prisoner reentry initiatives, develop a new model for prisoner reentry and create a network to facilitate the introduction of a new model in Worcester. Prisoner reentry is a complex issue. Many of those returning to the community have a history of substance abuse, along with other physical and mental health needs. These factors place them at risk for homelessness, unemployment, relapse and recidivism. This grant will begin to explore ways to improve the likelihood that prisoners will be able to successfully reenter the community.

Project Director: Mr. Dave McMahon
Fiscal Agent: Dismas House of Massachusetts, Inc.
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Year:2008Amount: $50,000
Title:Dismas House Farm
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Dismas House plans to purchase and operate an organic community farm.  The farm will offer a rural, farm-based treatment and housing program for former prisoners and will involve a mix of permanent housing units and transitional housing opportunities for these individuals.  This program will build on the other programs for former prisoners currently run by Dismas House and will bring the total number of program beds to 50-55 across four programs.

Project Director:  David McMahon, Dismas House of Massachusetts, Inc.
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Year:2007Amount: $20,000
Title:Father John Brooks House
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Dismas House is opening a new permanent, supportive apartment community for Dismas House graduates.  This housing, the first of its kind in the Dismas House network, will include sober and service-enriched apartment units for former prisoners and their families.  The program participants will continue to work on the recovery plan they established during their residency at Dismas House.  The goal of this program is to have 85 percent of program participants stay out of jail.  The house is expected to be financially self-sufficient by its second year of operation with revenues from rental income and housing vouchers.  THFCM funds will be used to pay staff salaries.  Money from other funders (Charlesbank Homes, Agnes Lindsay Trust) have been used to obtain a mortgage and purchase a multi-family property for this program.

Project Director:  Colleen Hilferty, Dismas House of Massachusetts, Inc.
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Year:2005Amount: $35,000
Title:The Almost Home Program
Grant Type: Activation Fund
Through a unique partnership with the Worcester County Sheriff's Office and the Massachusetts Parole Board, Dismas House will launch a 12-bed residential project and model, The Almost Home Program, to target the service and skill gaps that hamper successful reintegration for former prisoners from the Worcester County House of Corrections.  Almost Home will provide substance abuse, job-readiness and rehabilitation reintegration services for high-risk former prisoners to reduce homelessness and criminal relapse among paroles.  The Foundation's grant  will pay for staffing for the startup of the project.

Project Director:  Colleen Hilferty, Dismas House
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