Who We Are
"Hand Up not a Hand Out" is a key to successful reintegration". - David Nichols, Executive Director
Why We Care
Oklahoma is 4th in the nation for incarceration. 1 out of 5 are likely to end up homeless and at risk for reoffending without supportive reintegration.
When ex-offenders are released from prison, they are 12.5 times more likely to die in the first two weeks after release than the average citizen.
Highly vulnerable in the first days of freedom, ex-offenders often lack necessities to get on their feet, like securing housing, income, food—even a driver’s license. Seventy percent are coping with a substance use disorder and 25 percent have a serious mental health illness. They face myriad of challenges to achieving self-sufficiency. Without support, nearly 34 percent of adult ex-offenders in Indiana will return to prison within three years after release, according to the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC).
Hand Up began in 1997 as a prisoner re-entry program to help individuals facing homelessness. After release, formerly incarcerated individuals find themselves without anywhere to go, unemployed, and without proper identification to seek employment and obtain stable housing. Hand Up serves as a stop gap to help prisoners to reintegrate and prevent homelessness. We are a 501c3 tax-deductible charitable organization, however our clients are expected to become self-sufficient and self-supporting by participating in work programs, paying for living expenses, and volunteering.