The communities that they may have once have destroyed, the individuals are now coming back to be a part of the rebuilding stage of it,” Leon El-Alamin said.
He’s the creator and Executive Director of the M.A.D.E. Institute in Flint, an organization that helps transition people from prison back into our communities.
A passion for El-Alamin who was one in their shoes, the organization provides a number of resources to the newly released.
“Whether it’s life skill mentoring, job readiness, skilled trades and things like that,” he explained.
For some, they provide housing. One house on Flint’s north side is home to 4 men recently out of prison. And just a few doors down, they’ve just finished remodeling their 2nd home.
He was hoping women could move in, but El-Alamin explained, “Due to the situation of the first transitional house being too close to it, we wound up with some restrictions.”
But he said, they’re in need because right now there are more women headed to prison than men.
“And that’s scary, because when you look at it, we already took one parent out of the household in the community. That’s an income, that’s guardianship over the children and so forth,” he explained.
So, he’s working to create a home for them in town, too, for when they’re done serving their sentence.
“I’m not gonna speak on it just yet, but we do have an idea of where we want to create the campus for the women, as well,” he said.
Ultimately, they’d have four homes for men and four homes for women, housing up to 4 people each. The goal is to house up to 32 people at a time.
“You know, I feel like I took so much in my former life. So you know, to be able to be giving back and helping others get on their feet. It’s something I always dreamed of doing,” he added.
If you’d like to support their efforts, El-Alamin said volunteers and financial donations are always welcome.
They’re hoping to create new jobs within the organization to keep up with their growth.