Reaching for the Horizon…

In a speech to a group of Hope for Prisoners graduates, Attorney General Adam Laxalt discussed the value of partnerships between government agencies and transitional service providers. Hope for Prisoners has successfully followed this approach for many years. They inspired me to do the same when I created After Orange: Halfway Home.

Over the past several months, I’ve found myself questioning whether this approach is realistic for our facility. With all the obstacles we’ve encountered, I couldn’t help but wonder if the state of Nevada even cared about transitional housing. I’m now pleasantly surprised to say that, throughout the course of the past week, some of my faith in the government has been restored. 

Since I made my last post, there have been some exciting developments. Thanks to our recent news coverage, the state of Nevada has heard our cries for help! Last week, the state Fire Marshal inspected our home prior to us submitting our application with the health department. We now know that we’ll need to install a sprinkler system, but it won’t be the most expensive model. We’re in the process of collecting bids to determine the exact cost. The state plans to work with us every step of the way to help us make this happen. Furthermore, they are seriously considering issuing us a temporary license. This would buy us some much-needed time to raise funds and meet the many legal requirements. We commend the state for stepping up to the plate, and we sincerely thank them for this opportunity. For the first time since we started this project, we can see the state license on the horizon.

As thrilled as we are to share this great news, I must also report some bad. All but two of our residents were required to leave until the license is in place. This has left us with empty rooms and less contributions to the household expenses. Once we obtain the license, we’ll have help from the residents and supplemental income from the drug courts. Unfortunately, the approval process could take a good month, and there’s a very real possibility that we won’t last that long. My savings has been depleted by insurance and startup costs. Thanks to the generous donations we received last month (along with my business line of credit!), we were finally able to pay the bills for May yesterday. Now today is the start of a brand new month, and another stack of bills is upon us. As much as I hate to accept it, we’ll be forced to shut-down if we don’t raise enough funds for June. With all the support we’re receiving from the state, it would be tragic to see it go to waste.

My sister is due to come home next week, and she’d love to be part of seeing this project through. This is my humble request for your help with keeping it alive through this month.

For those of you who have already donated, we sincerely thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your support is the only reason we’ve been able to make it as far as we have. Rather than donating more, we are requesting your help with spreading the word. Please share our story with everyone you know and every advocate you come across. If enough people hear our message, I have faith that we’ll reach the horizon.



Author: After Orange

After Orange is a non-profit organization committed to providing guidance and support for women who want to change their lives after being released from the correctional system. Our long term goal is to discover and implement more effective methods of rehabilitation in the correctional system and to help influence change in the judicial system.

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