On June 23rd we mentioned in our Maniology LIVE! that we needed your help to save Fernhurst, a community based work furlough program that helps women coming out of incarceration integrate back into society sponsored by non-profit YWCA O'ahu. This program, the only one of its kind throughout the state of Hawaii was scheduled to come to a close on June 30th.
Today, we are pleased to share that Hawaii lawmakers on the House Finance committee did in fact vote to SAVE this program. The impacts of keeping this program are great for our women and the community:
- Hawaii's statewide recidivism rate for women is 34%. Between 2015 and 2019 Fernhurst graduates had a recidivism rate of 16%. That's an 84% success rate!
- Over half of the women in the program are Native Hawaiian and 75% of its women are mothers. Fernhurst's structured program targets and heals the women by focusing on being "trauma informed, gender responsive and culturally coherent."
- This program has made it possible to empower non-violent offenders to learn basic life skills like job readiness, financial literacy and developing healthy relationships.
It's a lot of information and while we're still waiting for our Governor to put his seal of approval - we've made it through this first hurdle and it wasn't without your help! It is hard to ignore the number of names who signed the petition to help save this program (your name might be on there) - at the time the petition only needed 2,000 signatures and now it's grown to over 160,000. For those who continue to help support us through our subscription and those who managed to sign the petition and even those who expressed their support - Thank you!