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Block Builderz Opens New Home For women impacted by the justice system
TULSA, OK – On June 10, 2023, Block Builderz celebrated the grand opening of its first Sisterhood Alliance for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) home. The new house, named “Nia’s Place,” will welcome up to six women returning to the Tulsa community following their incarceration.
“A home is not just a physical place to live, but a foundation for stability, hope, and empowerment,” said D’Marria Monday, founder of Block Builderz. “Women returning to our communities face immense challenges that require a safe and supportive environment. This SAFE home will provide the foundation these women need to rebuild their lives, break the cycle of recidivism, and create a more just and equitable society for all.”
Block Builderz is a member of the SAFE Housing Network, an international collective of 31 organizations dedicated to offering reentry services to formerly incarcerated women. The SAFE Housing Network is working to decarcerate the US by bringing people home to stay, helping them to heal from the trauma of incarceration, and empowering them to lead in the fight to end mass incarceration. Since opening its first homes in 2019, the SAFE Housing Network (including A New Way of Life) has housed more than 700 formerly incarcerated people. The Network has also provided other reentry services to another nearly 12,000 formerly incarcerated people since 2019.
"By ensuring safe, supportive housing options, Block Builderz offers formerly incarcerated women the chance to transform their lives and break free from the grip of the criminal justice system,” said Susan Burton, founder of A New Way of Life and a 2023 NBC News Inspiring America honoree. “We are grateful for their partnership and commitment to making enormous change for these individuals and the City of Tulsa.”
The SAFE Housing Network relies on the reentry housing model employed by A New Way Of Life. Lack of access to housing is a primary driver of recidivism. While recidivism rates across the country hover around 65%, there is a recidivism rate of just 6% among residents of A New Way Of Life’s homes.
Every year, almost 2 million women are released from jails and prisons facing countless barriers to reentry. Today, as we celebrate the work of Block Builderz, we know we have so much more to do here in Tulsa and across the country to provide the crucial resources and services necessary to help these women rebuild their lives, contribute to our communities, and return to their families for good.
Block Builderz and its sister nonprofit, Return to Hope (co-founder Bianca Caampued), provide holistic housing support for formerly incarcerated women. The organizations work together to build equity by removing barriers and replacing them with opportunities for justice impacted people.
The Sisterhood Alliance for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) Housing Network is a project of A New Way of Life Reentry Project, which promotes healing, power, and opportunity for formerly incarcerated people by taking a multifaceted approach to mitigating the effects of, and ultimately eliminating, mass incarceration.